General Sessions  

General Session I

Dr. Morgaine Gaye headshot

Dr. Morgaine Gaye,
Food Futurologist

Keynote Dr. Morgaine Gaye, Food Futurologist

The world of food is complex and ever-changing.  Dr. Gaye helps industries identify opportunities and threats before they happen

In "The Future of Food" Dr. Gaye will share her ideas around texture, mouthfeel perception, disruption trends, the future aesthetic, how tech will help us to self-heal, scent branding, edible packaging, new compostables, legislation on waste, eating insects, new proteins, what other generations want and why… and MUCH more!

The future is coming. Brace yourself!

Trade in The Trump Era: What Has Happened and Where Do We Go from Here

President Trump and his team have turned trade policy on its head and everyone from Washington to Tokyo and from Mexico City to Geneva is unsure what’s to expect. Expert trade analysts will share their views.

Rice Sustainability Report

A new report on U.S. rice industry sustainability was just completed with help from the USDA NRCS. You'll hear highlights from the report and what's next for the industry.

General Session II

Daniel Stone author of The Food Explorer

Daniel Stone,
Author and Journalist

Keynote Daniel Stone

Having written for National Geographic,  Time Magazine, The Washington Post, and more, Stone most recently authored “The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats” about American food spy David Fairchild who introduced hundreds of crops to Americans including avocados, seedless grapes, soybeans, and other favorites.

Stone will share Fairchild’s story and explain how he shaped the way Americans eat today, along with additional facts about modern agriculture, food, and taste he learned while researching the book.

Conservation Program Search Tool

Take a walk through our new USA Rice-developed online search. This new platform will help you find conservation programs specific to your state that provides some form of assistance to your farming operation, whether it be through cost sharing, management incentives, or tax exemptions.

General Session III

Nathan Childs & Jim Wiesemeyer

Nathan Childs

Nathan Childs,

Childs will present current USDA forecasts for the U.S. and global rice markets, explaining economic factors driving production, use, trade, and price.
Jim Wiesemeyer

Jim Wiesemeyer,
Pro Farmer

Wiesemeyer will do a deep dive on what the political climate in Washington means for agriculture.

Water Pressures

Rice needs water to grow, yet we find ourselves with less and less available water. Hear from experts across the rice growing regions on what’s being done now and what we need to focus on for the future.

Session Sponsored by:

Delta Plastics Logo

Row Rice: The Future or a Fad?

Many growers swear by row rice production and say it helps them with water use without sacrificing yield. Is this a fad or the future?

Session Sponsored by:

Delta Plastics Logo

Conservation Tales

Success is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Farmers will share personal stories of how things went differently than planned while implementing conservation practices and how they turned those experiences into success.

Perspectives On Sustainability

Step out of the rice echo chamber and hear from different commodity groups about what has worked well and what hasn’t in their efforts to increase working lands conservation and positive public perception.

Session Sponsored by:

Riceland Foods Logo
Farm & Food  

Grain Bin Entrapment: What to Do

This session will explore the challenges and dangers of grain bin entrapment rescue. We will explore options and low to no cost steps to prevent bin entrapments. Participants will analyze the steps taken to successfully rescue trapped victims and discuss the do’s and don’ts that should be adhered to while awaiting rescue teams.

Session Sponsored by:

Valley View Agri-Systems Logo

Application Technology and Drift Mitigation

Hear strategies to avoid or reduce the likelihood of spray drift, why nozzle size matters, and how good record keeping practices can be helpful for farmers to protect yourself, especially when your neighbor won’t.

Macroeconomic Outlook For U.S. Agriculture

There are a variety of measures to signal strength in the U.S. economy – from job growth and home prices to mortgage delinquency rates this session will review macro-level indicators of U.S. economic health and the potential implications on the demand for U.S.-produced agricultural commodities and farm income.

Session Sponsored by:

GSI Logo

The Future of Retail

Compare how you shop today with how your grandparents did. Think for a moment about how your own experience as a consumer has changed over the past 10 years. Five years. Can you imagine how your grandchildren will be shopping for goods and services when they are your age? Paul Galvani, Senior VP of Riviana Foods Inc. is doing just that, and in this fast-paced session he’ll look at how retail has evolved and where it may be headed.

Session Sponsored by:

Riviana Foods Logo

Estate Planning for Your Farm

You love farming but you aren’t going to do it forever. At some point you are going to turn your empire over to children, nieces and nephews, or siblings. What’s the most efficient way to do this? Are trusts the answer? What are the tax implications for you? For the new owners? What are some of the most common pitfalls farming operations can avoid when planning to turn the business over to the next generation? Even if these life decisions are decades off for you – it’s not too early to start planning farm succession.

Futures Market 101 and 201

Learn how to use the futures market to diversify your portfolio. Also look at strategies, do’s and don’ts for including the futures market in your operation.

Protecting Your Investments: Fire, Water, Theft, and Food Defense for Rice Facilities

You’ve put a lot into your business – inventory, physical facilities, and equipment, to say nothing of blood, sweat, and tears. Hear from experts about the best ways to secure it all.

Session Sponsored by:

The Zenith Group Logo

Understanding Workers Compensation Insurance, From Opaque Pricing Practices to Current Trends in WC Fraud

Done right, Workers Comp programs help everyone – you, your business, workers, and investors. This session explores the ins and outs of workers comp, including how to watch out for fraud.

Session Sponsored by:

The Zenith Group Logo

Insights into the Central American Market

Central America is the United States' third largest export market and the second largest paddy market.  U.S. rice quality has been an issue for the past several years but progress is being made.  The Central American Rice Federation (FECARROZ) will provide insights as to what the Central American consumer wants and how the U.S. can continue to be a steady and profitable supplier in this market.

Persons requiring special accommodations or having any dietary restrictions to attend or participate in this conference should contact Jeanette Davis at (703) 236-1447, or e-mail