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

Colorful Rice Appeals to the Foodservice Palate

Jan 17, 2018
A palette of rice for today's health-conscious palate
 Multi-colored rice - red, black, white, purple - in wooden boats, close-up
ARLINGTON, VA -- Across the country, rice in a rainbow of colors is showing up in restaurants.  From Asian-inspired dishes to rice bowls and side dishes, exotic black, pink, brown, red, and even purple rice are increasing in popularity and visibility.

The rise in popularity of multi-hued rice can be attributed to multiple reasons.  Restaurants are constantly looking for innovative ways to add color to a plate and new flavors to the menu.  Health-conscious diners gravitate toward whole grain rice as a smarter food choice in general and with colorful rich rice being low in fat and rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, it has become increasingly popular in menus across the industry.

And finally, “foodies” love the unique taste and texture that colorful rice brings to a meal.  It also photographs well for posting on social media!

“The trend of colorful rice in the foodservice marketplace shows no signs of slowing down,” said John Hasbrook, USA Rice Foodservice Subcommittee Chairman.  “For example, black rice as a menu item has a four-year growth rate of +48.7 percent across all segments and red rice has a four-year growth rate of +56 percent.”

Some restaurants have even made colorful rice a signature feature.  Sun Restaurant in Buffalo, New York, is known for exceptional dishes made exclusively with black rice; Red Rice Restaurant in Warwick, Rhode Island, offers red fried rice and red rice paella; and Purple Rice Korean Kitchen in New York City offers traditional and fusion Korean dishes made with colorful grains.

“From Pan-Asian-inspired entrees to fun and flavorful rice bowls, seasonal salads, and intriguing vegetable dishes, colorful rice is having an impact in foodservice and we’re happy to see chefs getting creative when it comes to the palette on their plates,” concluded Hasbrook.