Dec 14, 2022
AUSTIN, TX -- Members of the 2023/25 Rice Leadership Development Program class were announced last Thursday during the annual Rice Awards Luncheon at the 2022 USA Rice Outlook Conference. The class is comprised of seven rice industry professionals selected by a committee of agribusiness leaders.
“This is an outstanding group that displays exceptional leadership potential. They are also diverse, both in background and geographically,” said Rice Foundation Director Steve Linscombe.
The new rice producer class members are Christi Bland, Sledge, Mississippi; P.J. Haynie, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Jarod Holzhauer, Gillett, Arkansas; Charles Payne, Lafayette, Louisiana; and Alex Struckmeyer, Arbuckle, California.
The new industry-related class members are Justin Chlapecka, a rice extension specialist with the University of Missouri, and Matthew Hendricks, the Texas quality, pest control, & safety manager at Riviana Foods Inc., based out of Freeport, Texas.
Hendricks recalled that he first learned about the Leadership Development Program from listening to The Rice Stuff podcast and, after hearing the program’s director, Dr. Steve Linscombe, talk about it on several episodes, he decided to apply.
The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.
John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company are sponsors of the Rice Leadership Development Program through a grant to The Rice Foundation, and USA Rice manages the program.