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

Cruz Lifts Hold; Senate Confirms Northey at USDA

Feb 27, 2018
Bill Northey
 Bill Northey, headshot
WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate confirmed Bill Northey as USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation today after an extended stalemate surrounding his confirmation.

The Senate Agriculture Committee voted unanimously last October to advance Northey, currently Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, but Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) held up the nominee for months in an effort to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

President Trump met this morning with Cruz at the White House, along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) to discuss Cruz's issues with the RFS. Cruz then released his hold on Northey’s confirmation, ending a drawn-out standoff leaving several positions unfilled at the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

“Undersecretary Northey's confirmation is long overdue and we’re glad to see it finally go through,” said Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs.  “With this leadership role filled, we hope to soon see the administrator-level positions filled so they can get to work on the many issues facing rice farmers.”

While this morning’s meeting at the White House lifted the hold on Northey, a compromise on the RFS was not reached.

Created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the RFS mandates that gasoline contain a certain percentage of biofuels, mostly ethanol from corn.  The senators from Iowa, the country’s largest producer of biofuels, have pushed back on Cruz’s criticism of the RFS.  Cruz says the RFS hurts energy jobs, a particular concern for Pennsylvania refineries.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has long supported Northey’s nomination, calling him “a quality candidate” and “an authentic farmer” who is trusted in Iowa.  “We’re anxious to get him up on the job,” Perdue has said.