May 22, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA -- COVID-19 has wreaked havoc when it comes to this year’s rice industry calendar of annual meetings, field days, and conferences resulting in postponements, cancellations, and going virtual.
Several big meetings, such as USRPA’s Rice Market & Technology Convention, have been postponed indefinitely. The USA Rice Millers’ Association (RMA) Annual Convention and the biennial symposium of the UK Rice Association have been rescheduled for 2021.
USA Rice has moved the July Business Meetings online and will use the technology platform Zoom to connect members and staff for the annual budget and planning session. Some regularly scheduled field days throughout rice country have opted for a virtual format while others, like Horizon Ag events in Kaplan, Louisiana, and Jonesboro, Arkansas, are still listed as “in person” at the moment.
In Mississippi, the Delta Council Annual Meeting has been pushed back to sometime this fall. Delta Rice Luncheon organizers are adapting, planning a smaller gathering on September 18 at a local rice farm to celebrate 30 years of National Rice Month. Invitees will include sponsors and key leaders from the early 90s to the present who have been instrumental in making the annual rice tasting luncheon in Bolivar County a huge success for the past 30 years.
“I think everyone has been challenged to incorporate coronavirus social distancing restrictions into our regular meetings calendar,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward. “But because different events call for different solutions, we’re seeing really creative work-arounds as people try to maintain the normal flow of business.”
Please check with organizers before making plans to attend any events.