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

Undersecretary McKinney Visits USA Rice Booth at Gulfood Show

Feb 23, 2018
Enjoying the best (from left): Schmidt, McKinney,
and Seifarth
 Undersecretary McKinney at USA Rice booth at Gulfood Show 2018, three men standing together talking in exhibit hall
DUBAI, UAE – Undersecretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney attended this year’s Gulfood Show here and spent time at the USA Rice booth together with the local U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Ag Service (FAS) Counselor Kurt Seifarth.  USA Rice’s Hartwig Schmidt briefed them about the organization‘s promotional activities in the Middle East and European region.

The Gulfood Show is the world's largest annual food and beverage show with 5,000 exhibitors from 185 countries from all over the world, and USA Rice has been here all week, showcasing different U.S. rice varieties, information materials and brochures, and collecting trade leads.

“This is certainly one of the most important trade shows we attend,” said Schmidt.  “It was great to have so many USA Rice members here for the past five days to meet with importers in the region.  Additionally, it was crucial for our new Undersecretary to see the vibrant trade relations and how well U.S. products are viewed in the region.”

USA Rice members manned the organization’s booth, providing opportunity to establish new trade contacts among the estimated 97,000 visitors this year, as well as meet up with existing trade partners.

The show ended yesterday.  Trade leads will be made available for interested members.