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

Rice Leadership Development Class Graduates

Feb 13, 2018
The 2016-18 Rice Leadership graduates
 2016-18-Leadership-Class-group shot
WASHINGTON, DC – The Rice Leadership Development Program’s Class of 2016-18 graduated from the prestigious program during a special ceremony at the USA Rice Federation’s 2018 Government Affairs Conference yesterday.  Rice Foundation Chairman Charley Mathews and USA Rice Chairman Brian King presided over the ceremony, congratulating the graduates and thanking program sponsors, John Deere, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company.

The class is made up of five rice producers:  Michael Bosworth, Olivehurst, CA; Imran Khan, Chico, CA; Allen McLain, Abbeville, LA; Sidney Robnett, Stuttgart, AR; and Brandon Truax, Gillett, AR; and two industry-related members:  Sunny Bottoms with Horizon Ag, and Kristopher Riggs with Anheuser-Busch.

Sidney Robnett served as class spokesperson.  He expressed his appreciation to the many people the class met and the staggering amount of information the class was exposed to “by some of the greatest minds within the U.S. rice industry.”

Robnett concluded his commencement speech with encouraging words for his fellow classmates.  “I believe this class has prepared each one of us to take up the role of future leaders; to help in whatever role necessary to ensure that USA Rice has a bright and prosperous future.  A future that we can be proud of for our kids and grandkids.”

The class was immediately put to work representing the rice industry during the conference, participating in multiple meetings with Members of Congress, staff from key Congressional Committees, and agency representatives.  

They also met with officials at CropLife America to discuss the responsible use of environmentally sound crop protection products, and got a lesson in the intricacies of the pesticide registration process at the Environmental Protection Agency.

While in Washington, the group is also scheduled to meet Ambassador Camilo Reyes of the Colombian Embassy to discuss the remarkable success of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement that allowed Colombia to become one of the top fifteen U.S. export markets, as well as attend the USA Rice World Market Price Subcommittee meetings.

The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.  

If you have interest in applying for the 2019 Rice Leadership Development Program, contact Steve Linscombe at