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Arkansas Rice is Nice Cooking Contest Winners Announced

Combined image of winners

Ten-year-old Kemmer Gurley of Brinkley (Monroe County) and 17-year-old Pablo Velasco Moya, also of Brinkley, are the winners of the 2022 Arkansas Farm Bureau Rice is Nice Youth Cooking Contest. Both are members of Monroe County 4-H.

Gurley took the top prize in the “Main Dish” category with her Beef Smoked Sausage and Rice, while Velasco Moya’s recipe for Arroz Con Leche 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. Gurley and Velasco Moya each received $150 Visa gift cards for their first-place finishes.

“This one-pan dish makes and easy meal any time. Most of the ingredients are pantry items and the rice doesn’t have to be precooked,” said Gurley, who is the daughter of Allison and Jarrett Gurley. “Because this dish bakes in the oven, it’s a great way to warm the house and your family’s bellies on a cool night.”  

Velasco Moya, son of Jose and Leticia Velasco, said of his recipe, “Versatility makes this a favorite recipe … good no matter the time of day or time of the year.”  

Runners-up for the Main Dish competition were 12-year-old Hunter Nuckols of Russellville, second place, and 12-year-old Cameron Roland of Perryville, third place. Other finalists in the Party Ideas category were 9-year-old Emma Loving of Delaware, second place, and 12-year-old Gus Faulkner of Lake City, third place.

Download photos of the winners here. 

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