WESTMINSTER WEST—The third annual Northeast USA Rice Conference will be held at Akaogi Farm in Westminster West on Saturday, August 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It is the second straight year that Akaogi Farm, with assistance from the McCouch Rice Lab at Cornell University, will host this conference, which features presentations by renowned authors, researchers, and farmers.
“Rice is still a very new crop to the Northeast,” said conference coordinator Mia Murphy, “and we need to consider both how to grow it sustainably in our climate and how to develop our own rice culture and cuisine.”
This year’s conference aims to highlight the importance of rice cuisine, culture, and history using examples from the southern United States and internationally.
In the morning, Naomi Duguid, author of Seductions of Rice, will talk about rice traditions around the world and the importance of matching rice with the surrounding land and climate.
Glenn Roberts, founder of Anson Mills, will talk about growing and cooking with organic heirloom rice in South Carolina. Chefs are especially encouraged to attend as their help incorporating local rice into their menus will promote rice and provide a stable market for the many farmers wanting to grow rice in the Northeast.
The afternoon presentations will shift to general rice agronomy. Anna McClung, researcher at Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Arkansas, will focus her presentation on rice agriculture in the South and her work with organic rice farmers. There will also be short talks from farmers in the Northeast experimenting with rice and a discussion about the major issues for farmers growing rice in this region.
Lunch will highlight the importance of rice as a staple food for many cultures and will include short presentations by local chefs about the rice dishes they have prepared.
The registration fee is $50 per person, $60 per couple, or $40 per student, and includes lunch and copy of the 2011 conference proceedings. To register, contact Murphy at email@example.com. Additional details about the conference can be found at www.ricenortheasternus.org.
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