Mississippi Rice Farmer Named White House ‘Champion of Change’

Buddy Allen with wife, Allison, and daughter, Yates
Oct 27, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Buddy Allen, a rice farmer from Tunica, Mississippi, was lauded as a ‘Champion of Change in Sustainable Agriculture’ at a ceremony at the White House.  Allen was one of twelve champions across all of agriculture recognized for taking steps to improve the sustainability of their operations, and educating others to do the same.  To see an excerpt of the event, go here.

Allen believes in “practicing what you preach” when it comes to the sustainability arena and spends a lot of time and capital implementing soil and water conservation practices on his rice farm.  In reference to the critical importance of water to farming, Allen said, “Rice is a significant water-using crop which gives us a lot of opportunity to make an impact in conservation and stewardship.  Collectively, we’ve learned how to raise rice in the Deep South with about half the water we used to.  We’ve worked very diligently, and we’re really proud of the partnerships we have with our commodity groups like the [USA] Rice Federation.  ”

Allen has installed a tailwater recovery system to recycle irrigation water; instituted laser land-leveling to further reduce water use and soil runoff; experimented with using a large number of irrigation practices based on geographic conditions, and installed moisture sensors to help with irrigation efficiency.

USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward said, “Buddy serves as a role model for our industry by leading efforts to implement agricultural practices that benefit soil, air, and water quality.  He is a Rice Leadership alumni, a member of the USA Rice Conservation Committee, and known for being a great steward of the land.  We congratulate him on receiving this acknowledgement from the Obama administration.”