|USA Rice Millers' Association Honors Ralph S. Newman Jr. with Distinguished Service Award|
USA Rice Millers' Association has announced that Ralph S. Newman Jr., a 34-year rice industry veteran, has been named the recipient of the RMA Distinguished Service Award, which honors outstanding lifetime contributions to the U.S. rice milling industry. The prestigious award, bestowed only when the RMA Board of Directors determines it is merited, honors Newman's exceptional career of service to the rice milling industry beginning in the late 1960s.
In 1969, he organized American Rice, Inc., a Houston, TX-based centralized rice milling and marketing cooperative serving rice farmers in the Gulf Coast areas of Louisiana, Texas and the Mississippi Delta. As CEO the company, he catapulted the organization into one of the world's leading marketers of branded rice products, with distribution in more than 20 countries. Newman served as CEO of American Rice, Inc. until 1983.
That same year, he was named CEO of Sacramento, CA-based Farmers' Rice Cooperative, a major domestic and international processor and marketer of California rice. During his tenure at Farmers Rice Cooperative, Newman successfully negotiated with the Japanese government under the auspices of the World Trade Organization to gain access for U.S. rice in one of the world's most highly protected markets. For many years, Newman played an integral role in the implementation and development of the WTO agreement, which established a solid foundation for one of the U.S. rice industry's leading commercial export markets. After 13 years at the helm of Farmers' Rice Cooperative, Newman retired in 1996. He also served as interim Chairman and CEO of USA Rice Federation that year.
Throughout his career, Newman was an active member of the rice industry, serving in key leadership roles as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Trade Policy Advisory Committee, chairman of the California Rice Industry Association for 10 years, and a member of the board of directors for the USA Rice Council. He also served as a board member of the USA Rice Millers' Association for many years and is a former two-term chairman of the organization. Until Newman retired, he was also a member of the USA Rice Federation board of directors.
RMA Chairman Mike Sandrock said Newman, "is a dedicated and tireless leader who delivered everything he advertised." "He is without a doubt very worthy of this recognition," Sandrock added.
Newman, a U.S. Army and Vietnam veteran, is a 1960 graduate of Louisiana State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agri-Business. He and his wife of 46-years, Ann-Boyd Newman, have two sons, Paul and Jonathan, and live in Pinehurst, NC.
The USA Rice Federation is the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses.