Dec 08, 2014
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The 2014 USA Rice Outlook Conference opened last night, bringing together rice producers from all six major rice-growing states and others from the U.S. industry for an educational program and trade show. The annual conference is the largest rice convention held in the United States.
Among those participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony that opened the conference were Arkansas rice farmer and USA Rice Federation Chairman Dow Brantley and Chairman of the Arkansas Rice Council Steve Orlicek.
"Arkansas is honored to host this year's conference," said Brantley. "The support we've gotten from sponsors and exhibitors is overwhelming and we're excited to provide a venue for them to share their expertise and innovations."
The conference educational program kicked off this morning with a host state welcome from Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson who lauded rice farmers for their sustainability efforts, emphasizing the impressive gains rice farmers have made over the past twenty years in conservation of resources such as land, water, and energy.
"The governor-elect is clearly plugged in on rice issues and we look forward to working with his administration in the future," said USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward.
Today's program included conference regulars and favorites Jim Wiesemeyer on politics and Nathan Childs on crop outlook, as well as a learning session on the Farm Bill and crop insurance options.
The afternoon program featured a panel discussion on conservation opportunities available to growers led by former Natural Resource Conservation Service Chief Dave White, an interactive session on the Texas A&M Farm Bill decision tool led by Dr. Joe Outlaw, and presentations by state research officials on developments and the outlook for each state.
The USA Rice Outlook Conference is an educational service of the USA Rice Federation.
Contact: Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444