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


New Bill Focuses Attention on Organic Food

Feb 08, 2018
Rep. John Faso (R-NY)
 Official portrait of Rep John Faso (R-NY)
WASHINGTON, DC – Representative John Faso (R-NY) has introduced a bill that addresses fraudulent organic agricultural imports and proposes to increase funding to the National Organic Program (NOP) for oversight and technology upgrades.  USA Rice has continually raised the issue of fraudulent organic rice imports with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they are harmful to domestic organic rice producers.

The bill would require the NOP to provide yearly reports to Congress on the progress of the initiative, and is intended to protect the integrity of the USDA organic label, increase consumer trust, and protect the interests of U.S. organic farmers who follow regulations.

“Representative Faso’s bill is a big step forward in addressing fraudulent labeling of non-organic products,” said Frank Leach, USA Rice manager of government affairs.  “Additional resources and technology for inspectors will boost consumer trust and program integrity, and protect our farmers.”

Sales of organic food reached a record $43 billion in 2017, and the industry is growing at a rate of almost 10 percent per year, according to Faso.  As demand for organic products in the U.S. increases, so have attempts to pass fake organics off as the real thing.  In 2017 alone, the USDA eliminated 42 fraudulent certificates from the organic supply chain that originated in countries including Viet Nam, Denmark, and Turkey.

The consequences to U.S. organic farmers, who must comply with additional certification to have their products authenticated as organic by the USDA, can be serious.  Fraudulent organic imports create unfair competition in the U.S. marketplace and undermine consumer confidence in organic brands, which ultimately hurts U.S. organic farmers.

The NOP, which is largely responsible for regulating organic certificates, has not kept pace with these issues.  Regulation and oversight have lagged behind in comparison to how rapidly the organic industry has grown, and Faso’s bill, also known as The Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017, aims to remedy that disparity.   

The bill seeks to modernize the NOP’s record-keeping and tracking tools in order to improve their ability to regulate, oversee, and trace organic imports from their origins all the way to the U.S. market, giving the agency authority over any certifying agent operating in a foreign country.  

“Imports of organic rice products have surged in recent years and we are convinced that many of these are fraudulent and do not comply with NOP standards,” said John Hasbrook, USA Rice Foodservice Subcommittee Chairman.  “It is impacting our profitability and the integrity of our organic rice production.  We support Representative’s Faso’s bill and all steps to combat these illegal imports.”