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

Louisiana Rice & Crawfish Farm Honored for Stewardship Practices

Mar 05, 2018
TFI's Earl Garber (second from right) shares
data with the Durands
 Durands-Honored-for-4R-Stewardship, standing in field looking a man holding soil charts
ANAHEIM, CA -- What happens when you mix California sunshine, Mickey Mouse, rice, crawfish, and the nation’s largest farmer-led convention and trade show?  You get the Durand family operation from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, being recognized for their nutrient stewardship at the 2018 Commodity Classic.    

Established in 1996, the Commodity Classic brings exhibitors with many of the world’s leading agribusiness companies together with farmers from around the country to share ideas, innovation, technology, equipment and expertise that can help operations back home.   

For the last seven years at the Commodity Classic, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has recognized five pairs of growers and retailer partners that exemplify the use of 4R (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place) nutrient stewardship practices on their farm to increase production and reduce environmental impact.  

Among those recognized this year were rice and crawfish farming brothers Jeff, CJ, and Greg Durand, and Earl Garber, crop advisor with Sanders, Pinnacle Agriculture from St. Martin, Louisiana.  Throughout the year the 4R Advocates will be part of TFI’s outreach efforts to promote fertilizer management practices by hosting farm field days, participating in conference panels, and speaking on behalf of the 4Rs to their farming peers.

The Durand brothers began raising crawfish with their father in the 1970s and no-till rice was added to the rotation in 1980.  Earl Garber, a producer support specialist, has worked with the team for six years. The Durands now collect soil samples in 2.5-acre grids every three to four years and that data is turned into soil maps with cation exchange capacity (CEC) zones indicating the soil’s ability to hold onto essential nutrients.  Combined with yield monitoring data, tissue sampling, satellite imagery, and crop removal rates, the result is better fertilizer prescriptions for each field, improved soil health, and healthy yields.

“We are excited to be here in southern California and honored to be included in such impressive company with the other four nominated advocates,” said Greg Durand.  “Our family operation is thrilled to partner with TFI in their outreach efforts encouraging adoption of best management practices that will lead to better soil health.”