Makenzie Bennett of Carlisle was named first runner-up in the 2013-14 Miss Arkansas Rice last month at the Brinkley Convention Center.

Jenna Martin of Hickory Ridge (Cross County) won the title. Second runner-up was Savanna Bisswanger of Ethel (Arkansas County). Other county winners participating in the state finals were Lydia Price of Brookland (Craighead County), Lexie Van Houten of Hazen (Prairie County) and Sawyer Ramsey of Palestine (St. Francis County).

The goal of the Miss Arkansas Rice program is to encourage interest in rice promotion and to publicize the importance of the Arkansas rice industry to the state’s economy. Contestants were judged on their promotion activities, knowledge of the rice industry and rice-cooking skills.

As part of her tenure in Lonoke County, Bennett writes a column for this newspaper each month.