Rice Leadership Class Finishes Session II in Arkansas and Mississippi

Jun 26, 2015
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- After leaving the great mid-west area of the country, the 2015/17 Rice Leadership Development Class traveled to Arkansas to study the state's rice farming practices and processing industries.  The itinerary included professional development seminars and meetings with executives at Producers Rice Mill and Riceland Foods. 
 
The group also discussed conservation practices with Ducks Unlimited President and rice farmer George Dunklin and toured the Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center to learn about the latest developments in rice research.   
 
Class member Collin Holzhauer, with Southern Rice & Cotton, said, "The highlight of Session II for me was touring George Dunklin's farming operation south of Stuttgart. George is president of Ducks Unlimited, and is a devout conservationist who employs management practices that are truly incredible. He plants a few hundred acres of rice just for the ducks to eat over the winter, and operates a tree nursery where they grow containerized bottomland hardwood species for restoration. 

At Five Oaks Duck Lodge (from left): Chuck Wilson, Dustin Harrell, Nicole Creason, Nat McKnight, Hudgens Jeter, Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, and Paul Johnson.
Session-II,-AR-Duck-Lodge

Holzhauer continued, "George also graciously hosted a Rice Leadership Alumni dinner at his lodge.  There was an amazing turn out - more than seventy people attended, including some who drove from Mississippi and Louisiana.  That's how dedicated people are to this program."
 
From Arkansas, the class traveled to Mississippi to tour Farmers Grain Terminal, Inc. in Greenville, a regional grain marketing company serving over 2,900 producers/owners in the Mississippi delta, southeast Arkansas, and northeast Louisiana.
 
"As rice farmers and industry professionals, we watch our crops grow and see their progression throughout the growing season and harvest, but there are so many moving parts of the rice industry that we don't see on a daily basis that hold a vital role in the production of rice," said Nicole Creason, a class member and rice producer from Jonesboro, Arkansas. "In Session II, we got the chance to witness some of these processes in action and it was very enlightening."

The Rice Leadership Development Program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc. and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and is managed by the USA Rice Federation.

Image on left: Grading the grader at Producers Rice Mill. Image on right: They look ready to lead (from left): Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, and Nat McKnight.
Grading the grader  at Producers Rice Mill.   They look ready to lead (from left):  Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, and Nat McKnight.