For those who don’t know, Riceland is a farmer owned cooperative and is the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice! You can literally find Riceland products all over the world. Riceland was founded in 1921 and is still headquartered in Stuttgart Arkansas. Who knew?
The first day I was in Stuttgart was a very busy one. I got tot tour the Sample House which is where the rice comes straight from the fields in big trucks and is sampled. What that means is that the big trucks carrying rice (and soybeans, Riceland does both) pull up, samples are taken in random spots from each truck, and those samples are tested/graded to see how good they look.
Here is a look at a truck full of rice being sampled from…
After the trucks get sampled they get in a looooong line to wait to go dump their rice so it can be sorted and packaged and then sold to consumers like you and I!!
After our Sample House tour we went to Riceland’s Appraisal Office. This is where all of those samples of rice that were pulled from the trucks go in order to be properly dried out, appraised, and kept so that the samples can always be found in case there is ever a question about that particular rice. I call this place the “Land of the Golden Cans” because all of the rice is kept in these fun golden cans…duh.
Once we all golden canned out we went on a farm visit to see what rice fields look like and how it is harvested. Here is a rice filed that has been half harvested already…
I know when most people think of rice fields they are thinking of the rice paddies that are covered in water and these once were but now that it’s harvest season all of that water has been drained off and is ready for the combines!! Speaking of combines…
…I got to ride on this one! It was so huge and it felt like we were going so fast but unreality we going less than 2mph. HAHAHA!! It was so much fun riding and getting to see the rice go from being on the plant to seeing just the rice grains fill up the huge hopper behind me. When that hopper gets full a grain truck pulls up beside it and the rice grains get transferred into it!
I found this to be extremely awesome because this way the farmer never has to stop! He or she just keeps driving and dumping grain all at the same time.
When my time riding the combine was over we drove around looking at a few other rice fields and checking out levees. The rice farmers build levees because of the massive amount of water needed to sustain their rice crops. Everyone knows that water is pumped it all into the fields and then drained off but not everyone knows where that water comes from! So here you go…
…this is a newer levee and I think it’s just gorgeous. Makes me want to go swimming but it’s for the fields! LOL!
After our farm tour/levee visit we called it a day and headed to CrossHeirs Retreat Center. CrossHeirs was kind enough to put up our bunch of bloggers and Riceland folks and honestly it is just stunning. CrossHeirs is a 14,ooo sq ft lodge that is located right outside of Stuttgart in Humphrey Arkansas. Trust me when I say that the couple of pictures I did get so it absolutely zero justice.
Inside the main living area..
…and outside on one of the side porches.
CrossHeirs also had Moe and Fee Fee. Moe (and her husband) runs the center and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She had any and everything you could possibly need or want and made us feel right at home!!
Fee Fee cooked for us the whole time we were there!! Miss Fee Fee knows is one of the best cooks ever and will literally do anything for you. I loved that even though she cooked for us she also sat down and ate with us.
Here we are with Fee Fee and that is some of the food she prepared for us!! YUM!!
AMAZING!!!! And now I’m hungry again!! HA!!
So that is all for day one at Riceland!! I can’t wait to tell you about day two and the Taste of Home Cooking School!!! So much FUN!!!
Have you ever eaten Riceland products??
What’s your favorite rice dish??