Arkansas State Report Upbeat Despite 2019 Challenges

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What it pays for
Feb 13, 2020
JONESBORO, AR – At this year’s annual meeting of the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board (ARRPB), USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward reflected on the challenges the U.S. rice industry faced in 2019, and reported on the important role USA Rice plays in Washington fighting for sound policies, and advocating for U.S.-grown rice in markets here and around the world.  

Ward and Michael Klein, vice president of communications and domestic promotion, presented a comprehensive review of recent USA Rice activities and accomplishments, along with a look ahead to 2020.

"I appreciate the opportunity to talk about what we are doing on your behalf and to hear firsthand your concerns and priorities," said Ward.  "It’s also nice to share some positive news such as the inclusion of rice in the Administration’s Trade Mitigation Programs, and the potential for rice sales to China after the recently announced Phase One of the U.S.-China trade deal.”

The ARRPB is responsible for allocating Arkansas rice promotion and research check-off funds annually, and for the past 30 plus years, the ARRPB has awarded promotion funds to the USA Rice Council in recognition of the exemplary work performed by the Council on behalf of Arkansas rice farmers.  The board voted yesterday to continue the relationship.

“We take stewardship of the financial contributions the folks in Arkansas entrust to USA Rice very seriously, and it’s gratifying to know farmers here have confidence in us to do the right thing with their hard earned funds,” said Ward.  “We appreciate the financial and moral support as we continue to push for real progress for the U.S. rice industry.”

Earlier in the day, Ward, Klein, and Josh Hankins, USA Rice director of grower relations, attended the 26th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference that focused on the Arkansas economy, agricultural legal issues, trade and farm policy, and the agricultural credit and commodity markets.