After One Year Hiatus, USA Rice Outlook Conference Re-Launches, Heading to New Orleans

Ricky with some USA Rice Council heavyweights
Ricky Rice and friends at the 2019 Outlook Conference
Oct 07, 2021
ARLINGTON, VA – Following the cancellation of the 2020 USA Rice Outlook Conference due to the coronavirus pandemic, industry leaders were happy to officially launch the in-person 2021 event today.

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve all seen our share of events being canceled, rescheduled, or moving online, and while those approaches have worked, it was time for us to be back in person, gathering together, learning, and reconnecting,” said Bobby Hanks, chair of USA Rice. “The Outlook Conference is the largest rice-specific event in North America and its absence last year was felt.  It’s good to be heading back!”

The conference is scheduled for the Hyatt Regency New Orleans and begins on the evening of December 5 with a welcome reception and runs through December 7 with two General Sessions, multiple educational breakout sessions, a trade show, and the Annual Awards Luncheon that celebrates excellence in all corners of the U.S. rice industry.

This year’s keynote speaker is New York Times best-selling author Dan Gardner whose mind-expanding books about how we think and how we can make better decisions in the face of uncertainty could not be more timely for an industry and society facing so many challenges.

Other invited speakers include Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Federal Maritime Commission Chair Dan Maffei, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Congresswoman Julia Letlow, and Dr. Conrad Choiniere of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Educational programming will cover emerging technologies for the rice industry, transportation and infrastructure issues, environmental markets and carbon credits, global market trends, cybersecurity issues, and more.

“The rice state research and outlook reports are always a highlight of the conference and we’re thrilled to finally be adding Florida to the bunch,” said Hanks.

Another highlight is the Annual Awards Luncheon where many individuals are honored.  In addition to Rice Farming Magazine’s Rice Farmer of the Year, Industry Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award, USA Rice will also hand out the Sustainability Award, the Distinguished Conservation Award, the PAC Outstanding Contributor Award, introduce the new Rice Leadership Development Class, and award the National Rice Month Scholarship, sponsored by American Commodity Company.

“Of course, first and foremost we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our attendees, presenters, the staff, and hotel staff,” added Hanks.  “We will be monitoring the situation and health recommendations and adjusting our procedures as warranted."

Additional meeting information, including hotel information, meeting registration forms and rates, sponsor and exhibitor brochures, current health and safety policies, and a USA Rice Event Code of Conduct can be found at