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


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

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

Louisiana Farmer Represents U.S. Rice Industry at Farm Bill Listening Session

Oct 02, 2017
LA rice farmer Scott Franklin (left)
 LA-Farm-Bill-Listening-Session 2017, Scott Franklin talking with legislators
RAYVILLE, LA – Last Friday, more than 200 farmers and stakeholders weighed in on their priorities at a 2018 Farm Bill Listening Session hosted by Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-LA) that included three panels of industry leaders from government, farming, and related industries.

Scott Franklin, a rice farmer and rice merchant from Holly Ridge, played a key role in organizing the listening session and represented the U.S. rice industry on the farming panel.  

Franklin testified on the importance of foreign market access and exports, crop insurance, and the conservation of natural resources.  His remarks centered around the need for the Farm Bill to include a strong safety net, specifically focusing on the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program that is the cornerstone of the safety net for rice farmers.  

“The current farm bill has helped the rice industry stay afloat during the last few years of unprecedented price declines," said Franklin.  "The PLC program is simple, predictable, and it functions as intended by providing assistance during times of declined prices that are beyond the control of a farmer."

Franklin concluded with an impassioned plea to Congress to "maintain the commodity title programs and help support the policies and trade practices that made the United States the largest provider of rice in the world."

Kevin Norton, Louisiana State conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, served on the related industries panel and discussed the importance of preserving conservation programs, like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), in the 2018 Farm Bill.  Norton said the partnership between USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited is a model for public/private conservation efforts and called it "the flagship program for RCPP across the United States."

Congressman Abraham thanked local experts for their input and the farming community for interest in the Farm Bill process, and said, "what makes Louisiana work is what works for the South."  Abraham felt the Farm Bill would be on time and "on target for December 2018."

“I’m pleased Congressman Abraham reached out to the agriculture community for input on one of the most important pieces of legislation for our farmers," said rice farmer John Owen of Alto, who was in attendance.

Congressman Abraham will continue to gather input from the farm community as the Farm Bill is crafted in Washington, DC, and USA Rice staff will be working closely with his office to ensure that rice industry priorities are heard.

"Congressman Abraham has been a true friend and leader for the U.S rice industry,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  “We greatly appreciate his hard work and commitment to crafting a Farm Bill that will support U.S rice."