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


Membership


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


USA Rice Sees KORUS Modernization Talks as Opportunity

Jan 26, 2018
USA Rice menu development seminar
in Korea last December
 Female chef gives cooking seminar for participants at tables filled with ingredients
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. and Korean governments have begun discussions to modernize the free trade agreement between the two countries which is commonly known as KORUS.  Rice was removed from the original KORUS agreement, which took effect in 2012.

"Rice was excluded from KORUS at the end of the negotiations which was a great disappointment," said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  "The KORUS modernization discussions may offer an opportunity to address some important market access issues for U.S. rice, and we are coordinating with U.S. trade officials now about how best to do this."

Korea put in place a new import regime for rice in 2015 based on a large tariff rate quota (TRQ) available to all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Imports within the TRQ are subject to a low import duty while imports outside the TRQ face very high and prohibitive tariffs.  

"The new regime did two major things that were steps backward -- it removed the existing country specific quota for U.S. rice, and removed the guarantee that 30 percent of the rice that Korea imported would reach consumers in the form of table rice or fully milled rice.  The new regime effectively reduced the quantity and quality of our access," said Cummings.

“Access to the table rice market is critical for us to effectively promote U.S. rice and establish demand among Korean consumers,” explained Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president of international.  “For the last three years, the U.S. has had a healthy share of the greater than 400,000 metric ton Korean import market, but the system is wildly unpredictable.”  

Five WTO member countries, including the United States, have objected to the 2015 rice scheme, referred to as rice tariffication, meaning that Korea cannot officially notify it to the WTO and have it adopted by the world body.  

"We are looking to restore guaranteed access for table rice and obtain quantity assurances for U.S. rice in Korea where there is substantial government intervention in the rice market.  We will continue to utilize all avenues to advance our market open objectives," concluded Cummings.

Yesterday, the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the next round of talks on KORUS modernization will be held January 31-February 1 in Seoul.