USA Rice Merchants' Association

Representing Rough and Seed Rice Merchandisers and Associates

Founded in 2005, the USA Rice Merchants’ Association is the first organization to bring rice merchandisers and related businesses together in a representative, recognized body.  Merchants are an important component of the U.S. rice industry, providing a market outlet for thousands of farmers in all six rice-producing states.
USA Rice Merchants' Logo


There are currently 27 merchant members and 7 associate members. 

Board of Directors

•  Board members are elected from amongst the merchant members of the association.
•  Board meetings are held in conjunction with USA Rice Federation annual meetings.

Meet the Chairman


Dick Ottis
El Campo, TX

Dick Ottis was born and raised in Wadsworth, Texas, where his family started growing rice around 1915.  After college, Ottis moved to Ganado, Texas, and began his career with Rice Belt Warehouse, Inc. where he has served as president and CEO since 2005.  His involvement with USA Rice includes being chairman of the USA Rice Merchants’ Association as well as a board member of the USA Rice Board of Directors.  “U.S agriculture is constantly changing,” says Ottis.  “I am pleased that my work with USA Rice helps the U.S. rice industry stay on top of its game whether it’s legislation, regulatory issues, or marketing opportunities.”

Recent News

2018 Top Food Trends Serve Up Opportunity for Increased U.S. Rice Consumption

Jan 05, 2018
Raise 'em high for rice
 Overhead shot of laden dinner table with manyh hands toasting full glasses of white wine
ARLINGTON, VA -- 2018 has the potential to be a strong year for rice consumption based on this year’s predicted hottest food trends and concepts.  Last month, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) released its Top 20 Food Trends & Top 10 Concept Trends for 2018, and many of the lists’ items utilize, or have the ability to utilize, U.S.-grown rice.  This year’s trends were guided by NRA’s annual survey of 700 professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation.

“Local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired menu items will reign supreme in the upcoming year,” said Hudson Riehle, NRA senior vice president of research.  “Guests are implementing these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected on restaurant menus.  In response, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavors.”  

Of the Top 20 Food Trends list, USA Rice pinpointed these trends as areas to increase U.S. rice consumption:  ethnic-inspired breakfast items, healthful kid’s meals, authentic ethnic cuisine, Peruvian cuisine, ethnic-inspired lids’ dishes, and ancient grains.  

At least half of this year’s Top 10 Concept Trends have the potential to positively benefit the U.S. rice industry, namely chef-driven fast casual concepts, natural ingredients/clean menus, environmental sustainability, local sourcing, and simplicity/back to the basics.

“This year’s top food and concept trends have ‘U.S. rice industry’ written all over them,” said Michael Klein, USA Rice vice president of domestic promotion.  “The items highlighted, such as Japanese-style breakfast that always include rice, or the rise in popularity of Peruvian cuisine that frequently features rice all provide great opportunities to see rice plated at more restaurants and incorporated in less conventional or new ways, and we will be there to help consumers find their way.”