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

Do Higher U.S. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Mean Less Rice Exports?

Mar 08, 2018
In the crosshairs
 US Rice logo in a gunsight with mountains in the background
WASHINGTON DC – President Trump may follow through as early as today on last week’s announcement that he will impose import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum (see USA Rice Daily, March 2, 2018).  Threats of retaliation have raised fears in U.S. agriculture because farm exports are an easy target for foreign governments seeking to push back on U.S. import restrictions.  The European Union quickly issued a retaliation list that targeted imports from the United States of steel, apparel, and agriculture goods, including U.S. rice.

“The President is acting under authority of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 which allows for import restrictions for national security reasons,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  Members of Congress, private sector groups, and foreign governments have weighed in urging restraint and, if imposing tariffs is warranted, to selectively apply the duties to specific countries.

The EU has threatened to challenge the higher import duties in the World Trade Organization.  “This is a little-used provision of U.S. trade law and questions about the policy objectives of higher import duties, and how and on which countries they will be applied has raised tremendous uncertainty which is not helpful to U.S. rice producers and exporters,” said Cummings.

The EU is a 55,000 metric ton market for U.S. exporters, valued at $42 million.  “We have worked for a decade to rebuild the EU market following the Liberty Link incident and have seen renewed interest and demand for U.S. rice in recent years.  U.S. rice exports to the EU are already constrained by a complex and discriminatory system of quotas and duties, and any increase in tariffs would set back our progress,” said Cummings.

Prospective market access could also be at risk.  The United States and China signed a phytosanitary agreement last year that brought a new market for U.S. milled rice closer than at any point after more than a decade of effort.  Negotiations continue on implementation in a difficult overall trade relationship.  

“We are well aware of the challenges created by China’s domestic and international trade policies,” said Michael Rue, California producer and chairman of the USA Rice Asia Trade Policy Subcommittee.  “Our response should be tailored while we continue a focus on expanding U.S. exports in this market.”
Analysis by the University of Arkansas shows a decline in U.S. rice production and exports of 1.3 percent and 3 percent, respectively, if countries retaliate on imports of U.S. rice.  “While the estimates do not appear large, any drop in production and exports goes right to the bottom line of producers, millers, and exporters,” concluded Cummings.