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

CSP Sign-Up Deadlines This Friday

Feb 27, 2018
Don't squander the opportunity
 Two men standing near a white pick-up truck with the NRCS logo on the door, one holds a piece of paper and the other is pointing to it
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The deadline to apply for the Sustaining the Future of Rice Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is this Friday, March 2.  This program is available for rice producers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.  Go here for more information.

A second separate and concurrent CSP sign-up is currently available for rice producers in Texas.  This sign-up is part of the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Prairie Conservation Reservoir Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) which is supported by the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership.

Producers should note that they will have to choose which program to apply for, and that they can only apply for one.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) CSP special project assists landowners and rice producers who voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that aim to improve irrigation water management, control sediment and nutrient runoff, and provide waterfowl habitat on rice production lands.  

“NRCS has updated the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources,” said Texas Rice Stewardship Coordinator Kirby Brown.  “Partnership staff can help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives.  These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.”

This special RCPP CSP project area includes rice production acreage in 12 counties, including Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Jackson, Jefferson, Lavaca, Liberty, Matagorda, Waller, and Wharton.  A special emphasis is placed on Colorado, Wharton, and Matagorda counties.

This project allots 35,000 acres of CSP in 2018 specifically to Texas rice growers, however, applications must be received by NRCS Field Offices by March 2, 2018 to be considered.

Producers interested in CSP are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center or visit  For more help, contact Texas Rice Stewardship staff Kirby Brown at (210) 213-2805 or, and Dennis Neuman at (512) 373-5736 or