Anheuser-Busch Joins Forces with USA Rice to Strengthen American Rice Industry

New technology like this soil moisture sensor make irrigation practices more efficient
Jun 15, 2018
JONESBORO, AR -- Anheuser-Busch and USA Rice are proud to announce a major new investment in water efficiency, rice-land preservation, and wildlife protection through the Rice Stewardship Partnership.

Rice is one of the four natural ingredients in many Anheuser-Busch great-tasting beers ever since Adolphus Busch first added it to Budweiser to set the brew apart from other lagers.  

An investment in the Rice Stewardship Partnership will bring the nation’s leading brewer – and largest end user of American rice – together with growers, environmental groups, and government agencies to strengthen the U.S. rice-growing industry through innovation, knowledge-sharing, and supporting sustainable and efficient practices.

Anheuser-Busch’s investment will help fund strategies to protect working ricelands, including conservation planning, irrigation efficiencies, nutrient management, and education of decision-makers on water, agriculture, and wildlife habitats.  The Partnership will also help improve air quality, conserve energy, and support rice growers’ bottom line by testing new irrigation strategies.

These efforts will help advance Anheuser-Busch’s 2025 Sustainability Goals announced earlier this year, which include connecting 100 percent of their direct farmers to new technology and empowering them to try new agricultural practices, as well as engaging 100 percent of their facilities in water efficiency efforts.

“From seed to sip, every step of our brewing process is focused on responsible and sustainable water stewardship and smart agricultural practices,” said Jess Newman, Anheuser-Busch’s director of U.S. agronomy.  “The last ten years have seen us reduce water usage in our facilities by 38 percent and we are excited to keep moving in this positive direction.”

“USA Rice’s partnership with Ducks Unlimited and with great members like Anheuser-Busch has enabled us to provide much-needed financial and technical support to conservation minded rice farmers who are working to continuously improve their operations and hopefully see a positive return on their investments in both future profits and achieving their sustainability goals,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.

Anheuser-Busch’s 15 agricultural facilities across the country include a rice facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas – a proud part of the $4 billion Arkansas rice industry.  Most of the rice milled at the Jonesboro facility is sourced within a 30-minute drive from local farming families, and by-products are used as inputs in the feed industry, providing a key element for cattle feed.

To celebrate and thank the Arkansas rice-growing community, Anheuser-Busch hosted a Grower Appreciation Dinner for their local growers last night.  The event included presentations from senior leadership and local industry members.

“We’re thrilled that this new Rice Stewardship Partnership will enable us to play an even stronger role supporting the Arkansas rice industry,” said Bill Jones, rice agronomy manager at the Arkansas rice mill.  “At Anheuser-Busch, we’re constantly looking for ways to build a more sustainable industry and even stronger local growing communities.”