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

USA Rice and Undersecretary McKinney Discuss Trade in Mexico

Feb 09, 2018
McKinney (left) and Lehrer
 Marvin Lehrer & USDA Undersecretary McKinney, dressed in suits, stand side-by-side
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- As part of a visit to discuss trade with his counterparts in Mexico, U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney held a roundtable discussion with several U.S. trade associations based here, including USA Rice.  The meeting was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Agricultural Affairs and the Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico.
Undersecretary McKinney acknowledged the importance of maintaining a positive trade relationship with Mexico, and stressed his strong support for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Programs (MAP) which have helped facilitate U.S. agriculture’s robust export surplus.  McKinney also reiterated Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s commitment to expanding trade.  

USA Rice’s Marvin Lehrer represented the rice industry’s interests at the meeting and briefed the Undersecretary on the vital importance of the Mexican market to the health of the U.S. rice industry.

“The entire rice industry is depending on the continuation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to maintain markets for our rice farmers and to keep viable the countless small businesses that comprise the rice industry,” said Lehrer.  “With half of U.S. rice production destined for overseas markets, our members need the U.S. government to pursue and maintain trade agreements that work and to facilitate market development tools that enable us to grow the Mexican market.”
As the largest overseas market for U.S. rice, Mexico imports over 20 percent of all U.S. rice exports; in 2017, Mexico imported record amounts of U.S. rough and milled rice.  USA Rice manages a large and active promotions program in Mexico, conducting nearly 300 activities each year to increase consumption of U.S. rice in this critical market.