Close up view of rice plants.

Meet U.S. Rice Farmers

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Charley Mathews Headshot

Charley Mathews, Jr.

  Marysville, California

Multi-Generational Farmer

Favorite Rice Dish is Rice & Zucchini Casserole

Charley Mathews, Jr., a third-generation rice farmer, grows 500 acres of medium grain rice—contributing to the 500,000 acres of rice that California’s Sacramento Valley farms each year. California, the second-largest rice-producing state, grows primarily Japonica-style medium grain rice (including Calrose) and short grain varieties (including Koshihikari). The state also grows many specialty types, such as red, mahogany, black japonica, and organic rice. If you eat sushi anywhere in the U.S., you can be assured that you are eating rice grown in America—most often California’s medium or short grain rice.

Charley says he is proud to grow U.S. rice because of its high quality, healthfulness, versatility, and value. He’s also pleased that California’s rice fields provide a natural feeding habitat for some 240 species of ducks, geese, and shorebirds during their annual fall and winter migrations. “California rice farmers are dedicated to nurturing wildlife, and our rice lands serve as a habitat for species that have become dependent on the environment created by rice fields.”