In 2012, USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited forged a model of collaboration between a farm group and a conservation organization - the Rice Stewardship Partnership. This Partnership has been working tirelessly to improve three of the nation’s critical natural and economic resources: working ricelands, water, and waterfowl. The Partnership provides the industry an excellent opportunity to effectively tell our conservation story, and to broaden our base of support. The Partnership was crucial in the successful application of eight Regional Conservation Partnership Programs (RCPP) that are directing new conservation funding to the rice industry.
These RCPPs offer rice producers from each of the six rice-growing states assistance to address water quantity, water quality and wildlife habitat issues on their farms. These efforts are possible thanks to funding provided by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and private partners. After completion, these eight projects will have brought in almost $80 million in conservation funds to producers and impacted an additional 700,000 U.S. rice acres which would not have been possible if the Partnership had not competed for the additional funds. The RCPP program is a great fit for the Partnership’s conservation efforts and these endeavors will continue on behalf of rice producers everywhere.