THE U.S. RICE Producers Association is conducting an essay contest for students in grades four through twelve in the states of Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

Participants must write an essay of up to 300 words that tells “How rice farming in my state affects me, the environment, my community or the world.” Each winner will receive a check for $100 and his or her classroom or computer lab will receive a check for $500.

Entries should include the author's name, grade, teacher's name, school, school address and school phone number.

They may be sent by e-mail to riceessay@aol.com or by mail to U S Rice Producers Association Essay Contest, 2900 Wilcrest Drive, Suite 180, Houston, Texas 77042.

Entries must be received by Jan. 10, 2003. Winners will be selected based on the content of the essay and will be notified by Feb. 14, 2003.