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

Partnerships Focus of USA Rice Presentation to Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board

Mar 01, 2018
Reviewing past efforts and making plans for the future
 2018 ARRPB Mtg, Betsy Ward standing at podium giving a presentation under enormous screen
FAYETTEVILLE, AR – USA Rice leverages partnerships to help spread the U.S.-grown rice message around the world, and some of the most valuable were on display as USA Rice staff presented both a review of recent activities and a look ahead to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board (ARRPB) meeting here this week.

The USA Rice – Ducks Unlimited (DU) Rice Stewardship Partnership is just one example of how finding common goals with key partners can directly benefit the rice industry.  USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward shared a video produced by Nestlé Purina about rice conservation efforts that showcased Mississippi farmer Mike Wagner, Arkansas farmer Mike Sullivan, and Missouri farmer Rance Daniels.  In addition, Ward highlighted how USA Rice and DU have worked together to deliver $17 million in Regional Conservation Program Partnership (RCPP) funds directly to Arkansas rice farmers to expand voluntary, private lands conservation practices.

USA Rice Vice President of Domestic Promotion Michael Klein explained successful efforts partnering with internet foodies; TV celebrity chef Sara Moulton whose cooking show recently featured Arkansas rice farmer Eric Vaught and his family; students through the National Rice Month video scholarship contest; and research and development chefs and food writers.

Ward reviewed the trade landscape for rice with the board, including the challenge of preserving export gains made through NAFTA and combatting unfair trade practices that undermine U.S. export success globally.  She also highlighted the critical partnership that USA Rice has with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) which forms the backbone of the industry’s export promotion programs.  “We are very fortunate to have champions for rice at USDA like Secretary Sonny Perdue and the new Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney who see their jobs as partnering with us to increase exports of rice,” said Ward.

Ward also highlighted the partnership between USA Rice, USDA, and USAID on developing nutritious and affordable fortified rice technology for U.S.-grown rice that is now accepted into global feeding programs.

The ARRPB is made up of nine rice representatives who are nominated by industry organizations and appointed to two-year terms by the governor.  The board is responsible for allocating Arkansas rice promotion and research check-off funds annually, and for the past 30 plus years, the ARRPB has awarded promotion funds to the USA Rice Council in recognition of the exemplary work performed by the Council on behalf of Arkansas rice farmers.  The board voted this week to continue the relationship.

"We are deeply grateful that this board entrusts their hard-earned financial resources to us," Ward said.  "We certainly value our partnership with the Arkansas rice industry and will build on our successes both here and abroad in the coming year to expand consumption of U.S. grown rice."