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


One-Day Summit Brings Farm Bill into Focus

Mar 21, 2017
Today is National Ag Day!
#ThankAFarmer
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WASHINGTON DC – The Farm Bill Summit, hosted by Agri-Pulse, at the National Press Club yesterday provided insight on the conversations developing around the next Farm Bill.  The summit consisted of several panel discussions on topics ranging from “Conservation: What Works, What Doesn’t in Farm Policy” to “How The Farm Bill Can Help Bring the Next Generation Back to the Farm Through Investments in Infrastructure, Research, and Rural Development.”

Conservation panelists expressed the need to make farmers more aware of the current economics of agriculture, technological advancements, run-off management, and conservation programs.  “Seventy percent of the land in the lower 48 states is owned by regular people,” said Dave White, a former chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services and current partner in the 9b group, conservation consultants.  “The quality of the environment will be determined by the quality of the decisions made by the men and women who own that land and that is why we have to help them stay informed.”

Those on the panel for how the farm bill can help bring the next generation back to the farm focused on the need to create finance programs specifically designed to help beginning farmers, succession planning, and the crucial role the internet plays in attracting millennials back to rural America.  “We should view the issue of spreading internet to rural communities as our leaders viewed the spread of electricity after the Great Depression,” said Travis Medine, a Louisiana sugarcane farmer.  “The internet is as necessary to current agriculture infrastructure as tractors and grain storage facilities.  Data collection and basic communication technologies play a fundamental role in the development of rural economies just as electricity did in the past.”  

The event also featured speakers from both sides of the aisle on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.  Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX), House Ag Committee Chairman; Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Senate Ag Committee Chairman; Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member; and Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN), House Ag Committee Ranking Member all encouraged farmers and ranchers to voice their needs and concerns early in order to have the farm bill passed in a timely manner.

“The legislative process and timeline for the next Farm Bill seem to be right on track,” said USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely.  “USA Rice will stay engaged as the Ag Committees work toward the September 2018 deadline, ensuring rice priorities stay at the forefront as the new bill is crafted.”