USA Rice Annual Awards Luncheon Packs a Punch

Sep 26, 2017
2016 Award Winners (from left): Steve Linscombe, Gary Sebree, and Richard Fontenot
 Three Rice-Award-Winners stand in front of 2016 Outlook step and repeat
ARLINGTON, VA – The annual USA Rice Outlook Conference is the largest rice gathering in North America, and while innovative programming and exciting speakers always fill the two-day event, a highlight for many is the inspiring annual Rice Awards Luncheon, set this year for Monday, December 11, at noon.

“When many people in the rice industry are still trying to contend with disasters created by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it’s really uplifting to be able to present the Rice Awards,” said Vicky Boyd, Editor of Rice Farming magazine.  “These annual recognitions highlight some of the most positive achievements associated with our industry.”

Every year at the luncheon Rice Farming bestows three awards: Rice Farmer of the Year, the Rice Industry Award, and the Rice Lifetime Achievement Award, and choosing the honorees is never easy.

“This year, as in years’ past, we had a strong group of nominations submitted,” Boyd explained.  “Although it makes judging really tough because each person is worthy in his or her own right, it also reflects positively on the industry that there are so many accomplished leaders.”

Boyd said the three recipients also will be featured in a special section included in the December issue of Rice Farming magazine and she thanked Horizon Ag and USA Rice for their continued support of the Rice Awards.

The luncheon is also the time the new Rice Leadership Development Program class is announced.

“It’s always exciting when we read the names of the new class members in a room packed with alumni, lifetime achievement award winners, and others who have dedicated their lives to the rice industry,” said California rice farmer Charley Matthews, Jr., chairman of The Rice Foundation that oversees the Leadership Development Program.  “The application process for the program is grueling but it’s worth it, and we always start things off by warmly welcoming these young men and women into the family.”

USA Rice is also slated to present a brand new award this year, the USA Rice Sustainability Award that will be presented to the individual or entity with a history of promoting and advancing sustainability through innovative practices and demonstrated leadership in the sustainability community.  (Nominations are still being accepted and the form can be found here.)

The Annual Rice Awards Luncheon is included for all registered Outlook Conference attendees and guests.  Meeting materials can be found here.