USA Rice Council

Promoting U.S.-Grown Rice at Home and Around the World

Established in 1957, the USA Rice Council brings rice farmers, dues-paying mills, and other industry members together to steer the course for domestic and international promotion.  International programs are supported in more than 20 countries and implemented through USA Rice, that leverages additional industry dollars and the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.  Domestic programs are designed to speed acceptance of U.S.-grown rice and tell rice’s good nutritional, economic, conservation, and sustainability story.
USA Rice Council Logo


Rice state promotion organizations and dues-paying mills that elect to send promotion funds to the USA Rice Council are members and allotted seats on the Board.

Board of Directors

•  The Board of Directors currently consists of forty-five directors (36 farmers and 9 millers)
      •  Number of farmer directors per state is based on a 3-year average of that state's dues.  Each rice farmer state organization selects directors to represent that state.
      •  Miller representation is also based on financial contribution.  Each contributing mill selects directors to represent that mill.
•  The members are elected to serve for a one-year term (the Chairman serves a two-year term).  
•  Meetings are held in conjunction with USA Rice Federation annual meetings.

Meet the Chairman

Marvin Cochran Presenting to Students

Marvin Cochran
Avon, MS

A third-generation farmer, Marvin Cochran grows 1,800 acres of long grain rice on the same Mississippi land on which his grandparents farmed in the 1960s.  He is a graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program and has served on numerous rice organizations at the state and national level.  In addition to serving as the USA Rice Council Chairman, Cochran also serves on the Mississippi Rice Council, the USA Rice Farmers Board, and the USA Rice Board.

USA Rice Recent News

Japan, Mexico, UK, China, Jordan Priorities for USA Rice 2018 International Promotion Areas

Jan 11, 2018
Click here to view video report on promotions meeting
 Cooking demonstration in Mexico, chefs, hot plates, skillets and lots of rice
TORONTO, CANADA – Leadership from the USA Rice International Promotion Committee and the USA Rice Council met here this week to examine the current export picture for U.S.-grown rice and discuss future marketing and trade policy programs.  While U.S. rice faces tariff and non-tariff barriers in many markets, the group endorsed USA Rice’s proposed strategy for the coming year with some adjustments to ensure maximum impact.

Mexico and Japan, two of our most important markets, remained at the top of the priority list.  Programs will be expanded in the UK and Jordan, and the group will continue to dedicate resources to China in preparation for the successful conclusion of the phytosanitary negotiations.

“We will also build on our successes in other key markets such as Colombia, Haiti, South Korea, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia, and also in the realm of food aid,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president of international.  “U.S. rice is highly accepted and sought after in these markets and we will continue to expand our reach.”

USA Rice resources devoted to Cuba, once the top destination for U.S.-grown rice, and a market that the U.S. rice industry continues to urge the U.S. government to reopen, were scaled back for now, at least until the diplomatic situation between the U.S. and Cuba improves.  

But flexibility in programming is also important to the group and resources could be shifted back there at any point.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities and they continue to come at different times and for different reasons.  We are confident we have the ability to react quickly when there are opportunities to get U.S rice into new markets,” said Terry Harris, chairman of the USA Rice International Promotion Committee.

Attending this year’s planning session were growers from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and merchants and millers from Arkansas and California.

The group heard presentations and updates from Lita Echiverri, an international trade specialist at USDA/FAS, and Evan Mangino, the Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, who also has the advantage of being previously stationed in Japan where he worked on rice issues.

“This meeting was very productive,” said Betsy Ward, USA Rice president and CEO.  “It’s valuable for us to hear our members’ insights into key export markets and we greatly appreciate them devoting their time to an in-depth planning session to hear reports about what we are doing in the market, what we can do more of, and where we can direct resources.”