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


Arkansas Rice Farmers Get Annual Industry Report

Feb 20, 2018
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
and USA Rice's Betsy Ward
 CEO Betsy Ward standing next to AR Gov-Asa Hutchinson
JONESBORO, AR -- The Arkansas Rice Council and Arkansas Rice Farmers held their annual meeting and trade show yesterday here at the First National Bank Arena.  During the program, USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward spoke about USA Rice efforts on behalf of the industry, keynote speaker Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke about his support and plans for Arkansas agriculture, and a panel discussed agricultural crop burning.

Ward’s presentation outlined USA Rice promotion efforts on behalf of U.S.-grown rice and included Lonsdale native Jessa Goodeaux’s award-winning National Rice Month scholarship video, as well as a clip from Sara’s Weeknight Meals, a cooking show featuring TV Chef Sara Moulton and an episode filmed in Arkansas that featured rice farmer Eric Vaught and his family from Hickory Ridge.

Ward also showcased the organization’s legislative advocacy efforts as she reported on last week’s Government Affairs Conference that brought USA Rice members representing all segments of the industry together with every member of Congress who sits on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees as well as administration officials to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill, trade, and other regulatory issues.  

During his speech Governor Hutchinson stated, "Arkansas exports over 40 percent of our rice to Mexico and Canada.  The President understands the importance of these markets and I will continue to reinforce the significance of these markets and all international markets to our state's agriculture industry."

Arkansas Agriculture Department officials including Secretary Wes Ward, Communications Director Adriane Barnes, County Forester Bryan Aday, and Arkansas Rice Federation Chairman Jeff Rutledge participated in a panel talking about the recently adopted voluntary smoke management guidelines.  A task force was formed last fall to revise a model already in place by the Arkansas Prescribed Fire Council's for forest landowners, and private, state, and federal forestry agencies, and companies.  The group developed a reporting process to the Arkansas Agriculture Department Dispatch Center as part of voluntary smoke management guidelines and discussed potential regulations imposed on farmers after next year's regular session if the guidelines are not voluntarily adopted.  

"Field burning is part of a complete crop management strategy and our growers want to ensure the continued quality of the airshed their families and neighbors breathe,” said Rutledge.  “Our discussions here helped increase awareness and education among the industry regarding voluntary smoke management guidelines."

Farmers are encouraged to call (800) 830-8015 before burning next season.

"This annual event is an important opportunity for rice farmers to gather and discuss timely issues and ways we can work together as an industry as we plan for the next growing season," said Rutledge.