Annual Rice Expo set to start Friday

STUTTGART, Ark. (AP) - Cooking demonstrations, a rice recipe contest, field tours, kids' activities and other events are planned at Friday's fourth annual Arkansas Rice Expo in Stuttgart.The half-day event at the Grand Prairie Center features a showcase of the best practices for rice research and production and represents the greatest gathering of rice experts and farmers in the state.Rice production in Arkansas has grown to encompass the eastern half of the state. Last year, Arkansas rice producers - operating in 40 of the state's 75 counties - harvested more than 1 million acres of rice, event organizers said.More than 1,200 people attended last year's expo.