Candy Davis, Delta Rice Promotions Inc. chairperson, said she has been a part of this event since the beginning. “This is the 29th Annual Rice Luncheon with Delta Rice Promotions,” she said. “Starting out, Bolivar County, Miss., Farm Bureau hosted it as a women's event, and the very first year, I oversaw the rice dishes. We had so many people we ran out of food, but every year since then, we've worked hard to have plenty of dishes."
Getting the ball rolling
“There was probably a five to eight-year gap where we didn't have the event, and previously, if we had attendance of 200, it was a great event,” Candy Davis said.
Promoting Mississippi rice
Delta Rice Promotions was a group of volunteers who got together and decided they needed to promote rice because it is an important commodity in the Mississippi Delta.
Growing the event
Candy Davis said, “Our committee now is made up of individuals from every aspect of the rice industry. From farmers like myself and my husband, seed companies, the Extension service, Farm Bureau, Mississippi Land Bank, and others are on the committee."
DSU annual host home
“We have a large, diverse group of people on this committee, and our goal is to educate and promote rice,” Candy Davis said. “We are thankful to Delta State University for letting us host it here on campus every year.”
From appetizers to desserts
Candy Davis’ favorite part is seeing people come and enjoy the food. “I love hearing the conversations about the different rice dishes and how to fix them. I think people are surprised that you can make anything from appetizers to desserts with rice.”
Eat more rice
This year, the event had several booths lining the building. One was the USA Rice table where pamphlets on rice and farming were handed out, and the group from USA Rice encouraged others to “eat rice” and “thank a farmer.”
Lines out the door
Three lines reached all the way out the door as people waited to sample the many rice dishes made by restaurants throughout the Delta.
Dish upon dish
Each dish had a card to show what the dish was and who made it. From jambalaya to rice crispy treats, the tables had plenty to go around, and volunteers were continually swooping in to pick up empty trays and replace them with a new dish.
Farm Bureau update
Mike McCormick, MFBF president, left, gave a Farm Bureau update at the event along with other individuals from Farm Bureau and Extension.
Concluding National Rice Month
This year’s annual Delta Rice Tasting Luncheon offered tasty dishes, fun, and celebration of National Rice Month.