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.
USA Rice_R_rgb_Farmers


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


USA Rice Government Affairs Conference Kicks Off

Feb 23, 2016
Capacity Crowd
 Conference attendees at general session
WASHINGTON, DC - The Annual USA Rice Government Affairs Conference got underway here last night following a full day of USA Rice business meetings, a welcome reception, and an event for Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS).
 
More than 100 rice growers and millers from all six rice states packed this morning's General Session that featured remarks from Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA), Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller, and USDA Deputy Secretary for Agriculture Krysta Harden.
 
Boustany thanked the rice industry for support and guidance as he has become one of the industry's staunchest allies on Capitol Hill. He shared his belief that the 2014 Farm Bill needs to be kept intact and that the Obama Administration needs to do more to take on trading partners who are not in compliance with WTO obligations.
 
He also discussed food aid programs where he believes in kind contributions, not cash, are most appropriate.
 
"We were successful in defending PL 480 programs recently, but the margin of victory is getting smaller each year, so I'm going to need your help to make the case for these programs," Boustany said.
 
Chief Weller talked about the close relationship between USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited that is dedicated to providing flyways, food, and fiber for the nation that he called the poster child for collaboration.
 
"The partnership between USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited is, in my view, one of the best examples of what we need in the country going forward and I'm very proud that NRCS is a part of that," Weller said.

He also talked about much needed changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to make it a better fit for rice.
 
Krysta Harden, who is leaving the Obama Administration this week, was honored with the USA Rice Distinguished Leadership Award for her service to the U.S. rice industry and in her heartfelt remarks said, "I have truly enjoyed my time serving the people as the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, we are an agency that helps people and provides service on the ground and in the field to America's farmers. There is no other industry so critical as agriculture where one to two percent of our population provides the food for the other 98 or 99 percent."

Conference attendees then fanned out across the city for meetings with lawmakers and several federal agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade Representative and more.
 
"We have a lot on our plate to discuss from trade with Cuba to illegal farmer subsidies in other countries, and from onerous EPA regulations to the grower protections in the 2014 Farm Bill that are working well, and more," said USA Rice Chairman and Arkansas rice farmer Dow Brantley. "We're ramping up for the planting season at home, but this week, Washington is the place to be to protect our interests and make the case for U.S. rice. I'm glad so many of our rice family have come to carry our message forward."