Close up view of rice plants.

Meet U.S. Rice Farmers

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Rice farmer, Jennifer James, standing in a rice field.

Jennifer James

  Newport, Arkansas

Multi-Generational Farmer

Buzzwords like “sustainability” and “conservation” may seem trendy to Madison Avenue marketers but for Jennifer James, a fourth-generation rice farmer from Arkansas, these concepts are nothing new. “Farmers are the first conservationists,” says Jennifer, “and sustainability has carried over in agriculture from generation to generation.”

At her family’s farm in Newport, Arkansas, Jennifer often taps the expertise available from rice research programs at the nearby University of Arkansas. She says, “We follow their recommendations about minimum levels of fertilizer and pesticides, which is better economically and environmentally. Another thing we do here is level our fields so they have very little slope. This helps conserve water. We also make an effort to recycle water with our tail water recovery system and this helps reduce energy costs.”

Whether it is management of natural resources or boosting yields to meet the demands of a hungry planet, research and technology play a key role in the future of farming. People like Jennifer will continue to move the process forward because they know innovation plus conservation is not simply a sales pitch but, for farmers, it’s a legacy.