High school seniors who include promotions for U.S.-grown rice in their back-to-school plans could earn up to $4,000 in the USA Rice Federation National Rice Month scholarship contest, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

To qualify, students must conduct rice-themed promotions in their local communities during September.

The contest will take place in the six major rice-growing states of Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Three scholarship prizes totaling $8,500 are available. The grand prize is a $4,000 scholarship and an expense-paid trip for the winner and a chaperone to the 2010 USA Rice Outlook Conference, to be held Dec. 8-10, in Biloxi, Miss., for the award presentation. The second-place winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship and the third-place winner a $1,500 award.

Entries must be submitted by Oct. 15 and will be judged on creativity as well as effectiveness in promoting rice, NRM, and the importance of rice in the entrant’s state.

This September marks the 20th annual NRM celebration.

For more information and a USA Rice Federation National Rice Month Scholarship Program entry form, visit the USA Rice Web site.