ARLINGTON, VA – A four-part webinar series on U.S. rice industry sustainability is now available on the USA Rice website. The webinars are targeted to those who may be unfamiliar with rice sustainability efforts and practices and are an extension of the work done around the U.S. Rice Industry Sustainability Report.
The webinars feature speakers from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and each one takes on a specific topic including ways the rice industry impacts rural economies across America, energy efficiency, the latest in rice irrigation systems, and how U.S. rice farmers are preserving resources and providing wildlife habitat and why that’s important to them.
Fred Zaunbrecher, a producer from Rayne, Louisiana, spoke on the reduction in energy use in his operation during his career. One significant area has been the conversion of most of his irrigation wells from diesel powered to electric powered. “Not only has this drastically reduced energy use, it has improved our emissions footprint,” said Zaunbrecher. “I enjoyed sharing my experiences in this format as U.S. rice has a fantastic sustainability story and these webinars are another way to have that story told.”
Louisiana farmer Christian Richard produces rice, crawfish, and soybeans in Vermilion Parish. He spoke about water conservation practices on his operation including a unique tailwater recovery system that utilizes an abandoned rice irrigation canal originally constructed over 100 years ago. “I incorporate sustainable practices wherever I can in my operation,” said Richard. “I want to leave this operation in better condition for the next generation.”
“Anyone with an interest in sustainability and conservation will appreciate this important content developed by The Rice Foundation, through a grant with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service,” said Lydia Holmes, USA Rice director of industry affairs & sustainability. “Listening in on these recorded webinars also allows certified crop advisors and professional agronomists to earn continuing education units (CEUs) through the American Society of Agronomy (ASA).”
to access the webinars, and find out how to receive CEUs through the American Society of Agronomy.