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

Trade News Comes In Threes

Mar 02, 2018
Balancing act
 Elephant-balancing on small beach ball
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congress and the Trump Administration made headline news in the trade world this week to mixed reaction.

Yesterday the Senate confirmed Gregg Doud as Chief Agricultural Negotiator within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).  "Mr. Doud's confirmation was long overdue," said Bobby Hanks of Supreme Rice Mill in Louisiana and chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.  "We look forward to working closely with Ambassador Doud on our trade issues as he brings his policy leadership to USTR's agriculture office."

President Trump announced yesterday that he would impose import duties on steel and aluminum under a rarely used provision of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that permits the president to restrict imports on national security grounds.  The president reportedly said the higher duties would take effect "next week."

This action is highly controversial, with the steel and aluminum industries saying protection is vital to counter unfair global competition which has spurred global over capacity and low prices.  Many others, including export dependent industries like agriculture, are fearful of retaliation by countries affected by higher import duties.  The EU and China, for example, have criticized the action and spoken of responding in kind.

On Monday, USTR released the agency's 2018 Trade Policy Agenda and 2017 Annual Report.  The 300-plus page document lays out the President's trade policy agenda.  Citing a "New era in trade policy," the report details the administration's trade priorities, including "...establishing year-round markets for U.S. rice to Colombia, Nicaragua, and China."

"USTR's focus on an assertive trade policy and strong enforcement of trade deals have long been supported and pushed by USA Rice," continued Hanks.  "We're equally aware that trade and trade agreements -like NAFTA and our free trade agreement with Colombia - provide tremendous benefits to our members.  We have to be smart in our actions to protect existing benefits while we pursue new access and justified claims against other countries.  We will continue to deliver this message to our negotiators."