Feb 27, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – USA Rice’s Government Affairs Conference wrapped up today after four days of meetings in and around the nation’s capital. More than 100 members from all six rice-producing states took part in more than 70 meetings with Senators, Representatives, their staffs, and members of the Trump Administration.
“Our meetings focused on updating Members of Congress and Trump Administration officials on farm, conservation, and trade issues affecting the rice industry, and we opened every meeting by thanking the Members who voted for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” said Charley Mathews, Jr., a California rice farmer and chair of USA Rice. “It’s important that we continue to build upon relationships with legislators and executive branch officials, and this year especially, we made sure to express our appreciation for a strong farm safety net that has been essential for keeping many farmers financially afloat.”
And with about 50 percent of the annual U.S. rice crop exported each year, there is rarely a USA Rice - government meeting that doesn’t at least touch on the topic of trade.
“With trade on the forefront of everyone’s mind, our message of maintaining and expanding international markets for U.S. rice was well received,” said Bobby Hanks, Louisiana rice miller and chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee. “Additionally, we advocated for increased funding for USDA programs that promote U.S. ag products overseas on which we and many commodities rely.”
At the wrap-up meeting on Wednesday afternoon, USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward thanked USA Rice members for taking time away from their farms and businesses to come to Washington and advocate on behalf of industry issues they face each and every day.