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

U.S. Rice Brings Unique Flavor to Texas Saké

Jan 18, 2018
Made in the USA
 Two bottles of sake surrounded by a pile of white rice
AUSTIN, TX – Texas, with its rough and tumble reputation, might be the last place you’d expect to find a saké brewery.  But here in the state’s capital, the Texas Saké Company has staked a claim as the state’s first and only saké brewery.  And even more impressive than their ‘lone star’ status, is the fact that they’re using Calrose rice when brewing up the iconic beverage.

“Unlike the traditional Japanese styles, which tend to be very clean and delicate, American sakés using Japonica very much love food,” says Trevor Wight, spokesperson for the brewery. “Calrose rice has a robust taste.  The initial flavors are nutty and savory with a fruit finish, which makes it perfect for brewing hearty American saké.”  This bold taste pairs nicely with a number of American cuisines, including southern home-style, Cajun, and even barbecue.

Adventurous culinary trends is one reason Wight feels Central Texas is the perfect place to brew saké, as well as the unique flavor of the mineral-rich aquifer water of the area.

One of the brewery’s goals is to bring quality saké made with U.S. rice to new markets.  “Most Americans’ exposure has been to mass-produced, lower-quality saké,” says Wight.  “I’ve found that when you put a good saké in front of most people, they’re impressed.  Plus there’s a general oversaturation in the beer and spirits market in the U.S., and people are starting to turn to other options.”

Texas Saké Company, located in the North Loop neighborhood of Austin, gives weekly public tours of the facility, explanations of their methods, and tastings of rice in the various stages of fermentation.  

According to Wight, the company is looking into experimenting with other kinds of rice -- provided, of course, that it’s U.S.-grown.