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 Talks Crop Insurance for Organic Rice Farmers, Trade, Conservation, and More at Northeast Louisiana Rice Forum

Feb 12, 2018
USA Rice's Michael Klein
talking crop insurance options
 MK in yellow shirt stands at podium holding white piece of paper, NELA meeting 2018
RAYVILLE, LA – Rayville rice producer and Vice President of the NELA Rice Growers Association Scott Franklin kicked off the Northeast Louisiana Rice Forum here last week by thanking the crowd for coming out to hear research reports from LSU AgCenter personnel and an industry update from USA Rice’s Michael Klein, vice president of communications and domestic promotion.

LSU Rice Breeder Dr. Adam Famosa discussed rice varieties available, including the pending release of a promising new jasmine variety; agronomist Dr. Dustin Harrell shared trend data with a detailed discussion of The ProvisiaTM System; weed scientist Dr. Eric Webster and plant pathologist Dr. Don Groth discussed pressures Louisiana rice is feeling and what steps growers can take to best position themselves for the 2018 growing season; and Dr. Sebe Brown, area entomologist, discussed the best strategies to reduce pest pressure while simultaneously protecting crawfish populations.

Klein shared an update on trade issues of particular interest to Louisiana including the latest on Mexico and the North American Free Trade Agreement, trade with Iraq, Haiti, and rice in food aid.  He also talked about the conservation efforts of USA Rice, who in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and other partners has brought more than $60 million in conservation funding to the rice industry - $11 million of which is specifically available for Louisiana rice farmers.

He also screened a video about the state’s Yellow Rails & Rice Festival that showcases the unique relationship between rice, birds, and conservation that was produced in part with a grant from the NRCS, and a video from a local high school student who won Honorable Mention in last years’ National Rice Month Scholarship Video Contest.

Klein 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.

“We launched our crop insurance education program at the 2017 Outlook Conference and we are continuing our grower outreach through 2018,” Klein said.  “Our program is designed to help growers mitigate their financial risk, so we are encouraging everyone to take advantage of the information no matter what rice crop they grow.”