High school students compete at growing rice

MATSUE, Shimane Pref. (Kyodo) The first national rice-growing contest between high school students saw five teams from Shimane, Miyazaki, Gunma, Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures winning gold medals in recognition of the quality and taste of their harvests.

A total of 87 teams from 65 agricultural high schools across the country joined Sunday’s competition in Matsue, with 20 making it into the final examination to check the quality and taste of their rice.

Miyakonojo Agricultural High School of Miyazaki Prefecture and Matsue Norin High School of Shimane Prefecture won the most votes from 30 judges, including professional rice-tasters and Matsue high school students.

“I was surprised at how different the various rice strains are in their texture and flavor,” said Shoko Yamamoto, 17, a participant from Shimane Prefecture.

“(The competition) is very encouraging for us” to do well at school, Yamamoto said.