News & Media

Arkansas Rice is Nice Cooking Contest Winners Announced

Fifteen-year-old Wesley Scroggins of Cleveland (Conway County) and 10-year-old Emma Kate Powell of Lowell (Benton County) are the winners for the 2021 Arkansas Farm Bureau Rice is Nice Youth Cooking Contest.

Scroggins took the top prize in the “Main Dish” category with his Mexican Rice One-Pot Meal, while Powell’s recipe for Arancini Rice Balls won in the “Party Idea” category. Participants submitted short videos showcasing their recipe and their knowledge of cooking rice and preparing their dishes. They were judged on such factors as the importance of rice in the dish, the ready availability of ingredients, accuracy of the recipe, correct preparation and craftsmanship, presentation of dish and degree of difficulty and creativity. Scroggins and Powell each received $150 Visa gift cards for their first-place finishes.

“This makes a great supper after a long day working on the farm. It would also be a good dish to take to a get together. I like to serve this dish with fresh avocado on the side which adds more color and texture to the plate,” said Scroggins, who is a son of Shannon and Teresa Scroggins and a member of Conway County 4-H.

Wesley Scroggins

Powell, the daughter of Jeremy and Tracey Powell and a Benton County 4-H member, said of her recipe, “These rice balls are unlike anything I’ve ever tried. They’re crunchy on the outside and warm and yummy on the inside with the rice, ham and cheese.”  

Emma Kate Powell

Runners-up for the Main Dish competition were 11-year-old Hunter Nuckols of Russellville, second place, and 12-year-old Ava Mitchell of Siloam Springs, third place. Other finalists in the Party Ideas category were 9-year-old Kemmer Gurley of Brinkley, second place, and 14-year-old Gwendolyn Hutton of Jonesboro, third place.

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization with almost 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life. 

For more information, contact: 

Steve Eddington                                                                                                                                                                              
(501) 228-1383


Rob Anderson
(501) 228-1640