Seed to Plate

Sunset over a brick downtown filled with people milling about.

National Rice Month doesn’t just offer rice producers an opportunity to celebrate—it gives them the chance to enjoy the cooked and served finished products, too! There was something for everyone in Merigold on the third Thursday of September at the annual rice celebration in Bolivar County: Rice Fest.

Delta Rice Promotions has sponsored the event for 33 years, and the 2023 Rice Fest didn’t disappoint. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Farm Bureau were partners in putting on the event, and hundreds attended and tasted a delicious menu of rice dishes from local restaurants. Rice is Mississippi’s only row-crop commodity to be grown, milled, harvested, packaged, and sold in Mississippi.

Extension at the 2023 Rice Fest

A woman, with a girl and a boy, sitting at a picnic table with food in front of them.
Parker, Keeler, and Kiera O’Briant

A man and woman stand smiling together.
Bolivar County District 3 Supervisor Olanda Morton with Extension Agent Laura Jane Giaccaglia

Women serving food to people in line.
Bolivar County Master Gardener Virginia Gay serving hungry patrons

A woman with sunglasses sitting at a picnic table with a plate.
Azzie Payne

A woman wearing a tiara and holding a bouquet, standing beside a man wearing a polo.
2023 Rice Festival Queen Keeton Murrell and Delta Rice Ambassador Holt Fortner

A girl creating a picture with painted rice.
Josie Hester

A sign that lists, “eat rice. THANK A FARMER!” on it with “ September National Rice Month” printed in the corner.


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