USA Rice Farmers

The Rice Farmers’ Advocate

The USA Rice Farmers (formally USA Rice Producers' Group) is composed entirely of rice farmers from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.  This representative body ensures a forum for policy development on issues that affect rice farmers, and a voice for rice farmers to advance and implement activities to address those issues.

USA Rice Farmers (formally U.S. Rice Producers' Group and later USA Rice Producers' Group) is one of three charter members of the USA Rice Federation.
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Membership


All U.S. rice farmers are considered members of the USA Rice Farmers through participation by their state organizations.  For more information please contact Jeanette Davis at (703) 236-1447, or jdavis@usarice.com.

Board of Directors


•  The Board of Directors consists of at least eight ​farmers from each rice state.  
      •  Each rice farmer state organization selects directors to represent that state.
•  The members are elected to serve for a one year term.  
•  Voting is state by state; one vote per state.
•  Meetings are held in conjunction with USA Rice Federation annual meetings​.


Meet the Chairman


Joe Mencer checking rice in field

Joe Mencer
Lake Village, AR

Joe Mencer has been farming rice, cotton, soybeans, and corn in in Chicot County, Arkansas, since 1979.  Mencer also is a managing partner in Dewey Grain Drier that operates a prototype drying system for rice and corn in southeast Arkansas near Yellow Bend Port.  He has served on the Rice Council in Arkansas since 1989, the USA Rice Council since 1993, the USA Rice Farmers Board, and the USA Rice Federation Board. 



Recent News


New USDA Proposed Nutrition Rule May Present Opportunity for Rice

Feb 17, 2016
Making healthy food choices on a budget
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WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon announced a proposed rule designed to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants increased access to healthy foods by requiring stores that accept SNAP to stock a wider array of food choices.

SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program accounting for 79 percent of Farm Bill costs at $756 million.

"USDA is committed to expanding access for SNAP participants to the types of foods that are important to a healthy diet," Concannon said.  "This proposed rule ensures that retailers who accept SNAP benefits offer a variety of products to support healthy choices for those participating in the program."

The proposed rule would require SNAP-authorized retailers to offer seven varieties of qualifying foods in four staple food groups for sale on a continuous basis.  The staple food groups are dairy products; breads and cereals, which includes rice; meats, poultry and fish; and fruits and vegetables.  In addition, the proposal calls for retailers to stock at least six units within each variety, leading to a total of at least 168 required food items per store.

While the majority of SNAP benefits are redeemed in supermarkets and superstores, this proposal could provide a new opportunity to expand rice distribution in retailers accepting SNAP, and potentially increase rice products on shelves.