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

Holds Cleared for Senate Vote on Chief Agricultural Negotiator at USTR

Feb 02, 2018
USTR nominee Gregory Doud
 USTR Ag Nominee Gregory Doud, white male wearing blue suit and purple tie testifying before Congress
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) lifted his hold yesterday on the nomination of Gregory Doud, the Trump administration’s pick for chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, after receiving assurances that his concerns over a proposal involving U.S. import protections on seasonal produce in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would be addressed.

“Given the importance of U.S. agriculture and what’s at stake for them in the NAFTA negotiations, I am pleased that this nomination can move forward,” Flake said.

USA Rice joined nearly 80 other agricultural groups in a letter to each U.S. Senator earlier this week urging confirmation of Doud and other nominees to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  “There is a full trade agenda facing U.S. agriculture, and Ambassador Lighthizer needs a full team at USTR,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.   

Doud is president of the Commodity Markets Council, and was nominated last June for the position at USTR.  The Senate Finance panel cleared Doud unanimously in October, but his nomination has been held up since Flake placed his hold last November.  It is uncertain when the Senate will vote on his nomination, but it is expected to go smoothly, as Doud is a widely supported choice and the position has remained empty for months.