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

Myriad of Subjects Covered at Annual Grower Meetings in California

Jan 22, 2018
USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward
COLUSA & YUBA CITY, CA -- Nearly 200 growers attended last week’s California Rice Commission Annual Grower Meetings getting comprehensive briefings on key issues facing the industry.

California Rice Commission President & CEO Tim Johnson outlined six major issues the Commission is working on, including the Farm Bill, crop protection, Proposition 65, external communications, water quality, and exploring new conservation opportunities to help Winter-Run Chinook Salmon in the Sacramento River.

USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward attended the meetings, met with growers, and summarized top priority areas, including expanding overseas trade and conveying important rice issues to Capitol Hill lawmakers.  She also highlighted the critical role California rice leaders play by participating in USA Rice and chairing key subcommittees, committees, and boards that guide the work and priorities of the organization.

Ward wrapped up by discussing a USA Rice program produced in part with a grant from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) designed to help farmers of organic and traditional rice evaluate crop insurance options and choose the most appropriate product.

“I always enjoy getting out and meeting with growers to hear their issues and ensure that we are communicating effectively with our members,” said Ward.

Attendees were updated on an eventful first year of the Trump Administration from Tyson Redpath of The Russell Group, found out the latest from the State Capitol from Louie Brown at Kahn, Soares and Conway, heard an update on top water issues from Todd Manley of the Northern California Water Association, and were provided a summary on crop insurance from Richard Neves of Gig 7 Crop Insurance Services.