USA Rice Millers' Association

Representing the U.S. Rice Milling Industry Since 1899

Founded in 1899, the USA Rice Millers' Association (RMA) is one of the oldest agribusiness trade organizations in America.  RMA membership encompasses virtually all of U.S. rice milling capacity, including farmer-owned cooperatives and privately owned mills, with mill members in Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.  Associate members located in the U.S. and around the world,  include end users, exporters, shippers, and other businesses allied with the rice trade.

RMA membership supports government affairs work as well as international market access and trade policy work.
USA Rice Millers Logo


There are currently 29 mill members and 35 associate members including traders, exporters, brokers, end users, and allied businesses. 

Board of Directors

•  Each mill member names one director to the board.  
•  The RMA holds its annual convention in June.  RMA Board meetings are held in conjunction with USA Rice Federation annual meetings.

Meet the Chairman

Balafoutis, Alex

Alex Balafoutis

Alex Balafoutis, vice president of sales for the Rice Business Unit at PGP International, a company specializing in extruded products located in Woodland, California, was elected chairman of the USA Rice Millers’ Association at their annual meeting last June.  Alex has been involved with the rice industry for more than thirty years and during that time has served on numerous USA Rice committees and boards including the International Promotion Committee, the Sustainability Committee, the Trade Policy Committee, and the Japan and Taiwan technical working groups among others. 

Recent News

Japan, Mexico, UK, China, Jordan Priorities for USA Rice 2018 International Promotion Areas

Jan 11, 2018
Click here to view video report on promotions meeting
 Cooking demonstration in Mexico, chefs, hot plates, skillets and lots of rice
TORONTO, CANADA – Leadership from the USA Rice International Promotion Committee and the USA Rice Council met here this week to examine the current export picture for U.S.-grown rice and discuss future marketing and trade policy programs.  While U.S. rice faces tariff and non-tariff barriers in many markets, the group endorsed USA Rice’s proposed strategy for the coming year with some adjustments to ensure maximum impact.

Mexico and Japan, two of our most important markets, remained at the top of the priority list.  Programs will be expanded in the UK and Jordan, and the group will continue to dedicate resources to China in preparation for the successful conclusion of the phytosanitary negotiations.

“We will also build on our successes in other key markets such as Colombia, Haiti, South Korea, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia, and also in the realm of food aid,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president of international.  “U.S. rice is highly accepted and sought after in these markets and we will continue to expand our reach.”

USA Rice resources devoted to Cuba, once the top destination for U.S.-grown rice, and a market that the U.S. rice industry continues to urge the U.S. government to reopen, were scaled back for now, at least until the diplomatic situation between the U.S. and Cuba improves.  

But flexibility in programming is also important to the group and resources could be shifted back there at any point.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities and they continue to come at different times and for different reasons.  We are confident we have the ability to react quickly when there are opportunities to get U.S rice into new markets,” said Terry Harris, chairman of the USA Rice International Promotion Committee.

Attending this year’s planning session were growers from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and merchants and millers from Arkansas and California.

The group heard presentations and updates from Lita Echiverri, an international trade specialist at USDA/FAS, and Evan Mangino, the Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, who also has the advantage of being previously stationed in Japan where he worked on rice issues.

“This meeting was very productive,” said Betsy Ward, USA Rice president and CEO.  “It’s valuable for us to hear our members’ insights into key export markets and we greatly appreciate them devoting their time to an in-depth planning session to hear reports about what we are doing in the market, what we can do more of, and where we can direct resources.”