UACES Facebook Quartetofpalatestojudge 2016 bestRiceExporecipe
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Quartet of palates to judge 2016 best Rice Expo recipe

By Mary Hightower
UofA System Division of Agriculture
Aug. 9, 2016 


  • Four judges tapped for Rice Expo Recipe contest
  • Judges looking for palatability, ease of preparation 

(309 words)

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STUTTGART, Ark. — A professional chef and culinary educator; a weather expert and two leaders of Farm Bureau’s state Women’s Committee are the judges of this year’s Rice Expo Recipe Contest.

savory brunch casserole

“We’re really excited to have such a diverse panel for this year’s contest,” said Leigh Bullington, Woodruff County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “This contest has become a favorite event in the Rice Expo.”

Donna Bemis is the owner of Bemis tree farm in Little Rock. Bemis provides more than 30 varieties of trees and provide transplanting and maintenance for trees. The Bemis family also has a bee keeping supply store. Bemis is the vice chair of the Arkansas Farm Bureau State Women's committee.

William Ginocchio is a certified executive chef and culinary arts instructor at Pulaski Technical College's Culinary Arts and Hospitality Institute. Ginocchio joined the Pulaski Tech's faculty in 2009 and teaches Artisan Breads, Baking Science, Food Production II as well as many other courses. A graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Program, he specializes in breads and culinary fundamentals. 

Peggy Miller is a rice, corn, soybean farmer from Lake Village. She is also chair of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation State Women's Committee. Miller has been involved with Farm Bureau for more than 30 years.  

Pat Walker is an Arkansas native who grew up in Ward and graduated from Cabot High School.  He graduated with a BA in history from the University of Central Arkansas. Then, after five years of various jobs including youth pastoring, Pat headed off to Mississippi State to study Meteorology where he earned his M.S. in Geosciences. While at Mississippi State he met his best friend and wife, Kim, who is also a meteorologist. They have been blessed with three children. 

The Rice Expo Recipe contest judging begins at 8:30 a.m. 

For more information about the Rice Expo, visit

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact Suzanne DeLao at 501-673-2661 as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.   

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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