USA Rice Attends Cuba Interest Meeting with Arkansas Legislators

Feb 06, 2015
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- USA Rice Federation President & CEO Betsy Ward attended a joint meeting of the Arkansas House and Senate Agriculture Committees here yesterday to discuss the potential impact the Cuban market will have on Arkansas agriculture.
The meeting, organized by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and sponsored by the Arkansas Rice Federation and the Poultry Federation, was attended by members of both the Senate and House agriculture committees who heard several presentations on this emerging market.
University of Arkansas's Dr. Eric Wailes discussed historical ag trade trends between the U.S. and Cuba; Marvin Childers of the Poultry Federation presented the poultry perspective on trade; and Riceland Foods' Bill Reed and Terry Harris shared the outlook for rice, including several personal anecdotes about travel they've undertaken to the Island.  Arkansas Farm Bureau's Warren Carter added an overall farmer's perspective as well. 
"It was important for the state legislators to hear the enormous potential this market has for U.S. agriculture, particularly in Arkansas when it comes to chicken and rice, but also for them to hear the many challenges that remain," Ward said.  "Ideally we'd like Congress and the Administration to hear from the state legislators and governors about how important the Cuban market is."
Contact:  Michael Klein (703) 236-1458