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

Three Rice States in Three Days – Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana

Feb 22, 2018
Count on Randy Jemison to be the center of attention
 Randy Jemison receives service award while audience takes photos
JONESBORO, AR; CLEVELAND, MS; BUNKIE and JENNINGS, LA – As the 2018 planting season approaches, rice state meetings are in full swing and USA Rice is on the road listening to growers and sharing planned activities and success stories.
The jam-packed schedule included stops on Monday at the Arkansas Rice Council and Arkansas Rice Farmers annual meeting, Tuesday at the Mississippi Rice Council annual meeting and Mississippi Rice Research and Promotion Board meeting, and yesterday at the Central Louisiana Rice Growers meeting and the Louisiana Rice Council and Rice Growers Association annual joint meeting.
At each stop on the road tour, USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward thanked attendees for their support for USA Rice and reminded them of their state volunteer representatives in the member-driven organization.  She also gave an industry update that focused on international trade including the renegotiation of NAFTA, a report on current export markets, and what USA Rice is doing to combat unfair competition in global markets.  She also talked about the continued success of the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership and how that effort has generated financial assistance of more than $75 million specifically for rice farmers to support implementation of conservation practices.
Ben Mosely, vice president of government affairs for USA Rice, showcased the organization’s legislative advocacy efforts as he reported on last week’s successful Government Affairs Conference (see USA Rice Daily, February 16, 2018) and shared his perspective on the coming Farm Bill and rice priorities.
USA Rice Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Domestic Promotion Michael Klein discussed the challenges of telling the rice story using social media and partnering with important influencers and other supporters who help amplify the rice message.  

Several videos were shared with the crowds, including a Nestlé Purina/USA Rice/DU video about sustainable rice farming in Mississippi and Arkansas, a National Rice Month Video Scholarship winner, highlights from Arkansas rice farmer Eric Vaught’s appearance on celebrity TV chef Sara Moulton’s cooking show, Sara’s Weeknight Meals, and USA Rice videos showcasing Louisiana’s annual Yellow Rails & Rice Festival and the group’s Foodservice Farm & Mill tours.

Klein wrapped up by discussing a USA Rice program produced in part with a grant from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) designed to help farmers of organic and traditional rice evaluate crop insurance options and choose the most appropriate product.

Other speakers at the Louisiana annual meeting included Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.  Also at the meeting, long time USA Rice employee Randy Jemison was presented with the Distinguished Service Award and rice farmer Kevin Berken was honored for his many years as chairman of the Louisiana Rice Political Action Committee.

“We are a member driven organization and though the focus of much of our work is in Washington, DC, it is vital we stay in close contact with what is happening in rice country – these tours are an important part of that,” said Ward.