USA Rice Connects with Thousands at Farm & Gin Show

Feb 29, 2016
MEMPHIS, TN – The just concluded 64th Annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show attracted thousands of attendees and more than 400 exhibitors, one of which was USA Rice.  

USA Rice’s popular booth featured an exciting prize wheel that’s become a show favorite.  “Contestants” spin the wheel and must answer a trivia question about rice to receive a prize.  Topics include the nutritional value of rice, where rice is grown, rice’s sustainability record, and more, including some fun facts and trick questions that you can see in the video ​below.  Correct answers were rewarded with ThinkRice marshmallow rice treats, pens, colored pencils, and measuring cups.

“We like to have fun with the folks with our trivia game,” said Randy Jemison, USA Rice director of Louisiana Field Services.  “A lot of exhibitors just give stuff away, but we make them work – and learn for it.  They come back year after year, a lot of times proud that they remember the question and answer we asked them last year.  And that’s what this is all about.”

Jemison said USA Rice attends to connect with rice growers and to participate in the many educational seminars offered at the show.

During his annual presentation for the Outlook on Rice and Wheat, Carl Brothers, senior vice president and COO of Riceland Foods, said that while the year started out strong and rough rice exports are still strong, milled rice exports are down.

“I had hoped to come to Memphis a little more upbeat than I am, but we’ve got some tenders going on that we’re not sure what’s happening, and we are absolutely looking at other rice exporting countries that are not complying with the WTO obligations, making it very difficult for American rice farmers,” he said.

Brothers said a bright side was a steady rise in U.S. domestic consumption that far outpaces population growth.  “Since 1980, rice consumption is up 271 percent, but population is up only about 40 percent,” he said.  “The upsurge is attributed to the rise in rice use in pet food and in the diet of Americans as demographics shift.”

Milo Hamilton, founder of FirstGrain, also gave an interesting talk where he said water, and by extension, rice, are entering a phase of what he termed “Empire Commodities.”  He believes the Fossil Fuel Empire Commodities are declining in importance and water will be a new global standard.

Test your rice knowledge at the 2016 Farm & Gin Show.