ARLINGTON, VA -- The U.S. rice industry stands out among other commodities in a number of ways but most recently, the industry’s achievements in conservation and sustainability have been in the limelight.
Keeping with the theme of September National Rice Month, earlier this month the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership published their first Annual Report to highlight some of the Partnership’s many accomplishments during 2016. The 28-page booklet showcases what the Partnership has done during the first year of implementing the $10 million of funding for the National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Halfway through the life of the project, the Partnership has more than tripled its staff and signed more than 200 conservation program contracts across the six rice-growing states.
Missouri rice farmer and USA Rice member Rance Daniels was one of three farmers featured in the report. Daniels shared his enthusiasm for the Partnership’s involvement in the NRCS program saying, “RCPP is great, and we’re seeing so many companies and people wanting to get involved with what we’re doing, but I think the sky is the limit as to what we can accomplish for both groups, for working lands conservation, and waterfowl habitat.”
Partnership co-chairs Jeff Durand and Al Montna included an update from their perspective and said they are optimistic, like Daniels, that the Partnership will continue to grow as partners, staff, and funding further develop.
“The momentum initially surrounding the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership has certainly grown. New opportunities for collaboration continue to develop. What’s good for rice is good for ducks, and working wetlands are equally good for people,” said co-chairs Durand and Montna.
The Rice Stewardship Partnership is made possible by funders, including: USDA-NRCS; National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Walmart Foundation; the Mosaic Company Foundation; Chevron U.S.A.; Freeport-McMoRan Foundation; Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation; RiceTec; BASF; American Rice, Inc. – Riviana Foods, Inc.; Wells Fargo; Farmers Rice Milling Company; Horizon Ag; Turner’s Creek & Bombay Hook Farms; and MacDon Industries.
The Rice Stewardship Partnership 2016 Annual Report can be found online