Conference programming is carefully curated to offer a tangible benefit to attendees.  We have exciting speakers and outstanding educational sessions that will make your time spent in Austin truly impactful to you, to your bottom line, and to your business.


Headshot of Seth Meyer

Dr. Seth Meyer – Chief Economist, USDA

Meyer and his team are the focal point for economic and policy related research and analysis for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this fast-moving talk, Meyer will provide unbiased information and data-driven analyses of current and emerging issues impacting rice.

Headshot of Steve Lerch

Steve Lerch

As the world becomes more technologically advanced and more digitally dependent by the day, consumer behavior is changing faster than at any point in human history. This creates new challenges in understanding consumers, but it also creates new opportunities to connect, to convince, and to sell. Whether you’re the CEO of a global rice company or a family farmer with a Facebook page, everyone in the rice industry needs to understand these evolving consumer behaviors. We all need to embrace new tools, rethink how we tell our stories, and find ways to care about the things our customers care about. Fortunately for us, as business leaders, all of the above is as easy as being open minded, paying attention, and knowing where to look.

Headshot of Barbara Dartt

Barb Dartt, DVM MS

Family businesses outperform publicly held businesses because they have a long-term view and can often move more quickly. So when they’re good, it’s very good. The challenge is, when it’s bad, the conflict and poor performance hurt your career, your family relationships, and your financial security. It’s really bad. This session will offer insight and practical applications allowing you to build the relationships and structure to enjoy BOTH the family dinner table and the family meeting room.

Jim Wiesemeyer

Jim Wiesemeyer

ProFarmer’s resident farm policy expert will unpack the 2022 elections and tell us what it means for agriculture going forward.

Education Sessions

This year we are offering more than 10 hours of educational programming during the conference.  Below are a few highlights.  Other session topics include: State Research and Outlook Reports, Supply Chain Woes, Water Politics, and much more!
  • Input Costs Ahead – Will 2023 provide any relief on rice’s staggering input costs?
  • CRISPR Technology – The gene editing technology could be the solution to a host of rice issues - from food safety to climate change.
  • Analysis of U.S. Rice Quality – U.S. rice breeders continue working to address major customer concerns. How are they doing?
  • Changing Energy Use – Can renewable energy be a meaningful part of your farm input cost strategy?
  • Organic Rice Production – Perspectives from a grower and a miller.
  • Consumer Consumption Trends – How are consumers interacting with the rice at home and restaurants? Have pandemic-induced changes disappeared or are they here to stay?
  • The $80 Million USDA Climate-Smart Grant – When USA Rice partnered with Ducks Unlimited and the National Black Growers Council they produced the highest-scoring proposal of more than 1,000 submitted. What now?
  • The Future of Ag Banking – With the 2023 Farm Bill debate approaching and the potential for changes to the farm safety net, how might ag and rural creditors shift to evaluate requests for annual operating loans?
A speaker addresses a crowd of conference attendees

Persons requiring special accommodations or having any dietary restrictions to attend or participate in this conference should contact Jeanette Davis at (240) 682-0059, or e-mail no later than Dec. 1, 2023.

USA Rice is an equal opportunity provider and employer.  USA Rice does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital/family status or political beliefs.