CROWLEY, La. (KLFY) – Crowley is home to over 80 thousand acres of rice, making the crop a major part of the economy and the culture.
“The best part is being able to represent and pay tribute to the rice farmers who work diligently every year to feed half of the actual world,” said the 80th Miss Crowley, Kathryn Shea Duncan.
Rice Festival co-chairman Chad Monceaux said the farmers’ hard work and dedication is why residents have been celebrating the International Rice Festival for 80 years.
“We really look up to our farmers and that’s what this festival is all about. It’s celebrating the end of the harvest season.”
But this year the harvest was interrupted by the devastating flood of 2016.
“Since there was about 20% of the rice that was still in the fields, we figured that was about 16,500 acres that was still left and hadn’t been cut yet,” Jeremy Hebert.
LSU Ag Center County Agent Jeremy Hebert said the flood caused many farmer’s crops to take a hit.
“If we put a number on that 16,500 acres its about 2.5 million dollars that’s still left out in the field.”
But Hebert said despite the recent flood, there is still plenty to be proud of and celebrate.
“They have to bounce back and they always do but we’re still fortunate that farmers were able to still get rice out of the fields and i guess that’s why we’re here to celebrate.”
Hebert said farmers will begin planting next year’s crop in late February to mid-March.
For a list of schedule events at the 80th Annual International Rice Festival- Click Here