This September, scholarship opportunities await high school seniors in rice-growing states as they head back to school. The USA Rice Federation’s National Rice Month scholarship contest, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, offers $8,500 in total scholarship awards.

The contest encourages eligible students in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas to conduct a promotion activity in September with U.S.-grown rice as the central theme.

The grand prize is a $4,000 scholarship and a trip for the grand-prize winner and a chaperone to the 2010 USA Rice Outlook Conference in Biloxi, Miss., for the award presentation on Dec. 9. The second-place winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship and the third-place winner a $1,500 award.

Initiated by an act of Congress in 1991, this September marks the 20th annual National Rice Month celebration when America salutes its rice farmers, millers and everyone involved in the U.S. rice industry.

For more information, tips on planning NRM promotions and a scholarship application, visit the scholarship Web page.