• Arkansas Horizon Ag Field Day Emphasizes Quality

    by Deborah Willenborg | Aug 05, 2016
    Speaking to a crowd
    2016 AR-Horizon-Ag-Field-Day
    JONESBORO, AR – Horizon Ag welcomed more than 100 attendees to its annual Field Day held yesterday at Mark Wimpy Farms.  The event included a look at current and new Clearfield varieties as well as an update on the harvest in Louisiana and Texas.

    “Today was an opportunity to show the focus Horizon Ag has on providing valuable agronomic information to help rice farmers maximize production and profits and to show we have heard the message loud and clear for the need to improve quality,” said Tim Walker, Horizon Ag general manager.

    “Not only are we committed to improving production on U.S. rice farms, we are also focused on improving the overall quality of U.S.-grown rice to meet the needs of our export partners," Walker said.  "Our industry was once the unmatched leader in producing high-quality rice grain, but today, there is more competition for that title.  We can separate ourselves again by focusing breeding and development on varieties that bring value at the buyer level and improved production at the farm level."

    Walker also reminded everyone about The Rice Foundation’s Rice Leadership Development Program, of which he is an alumni, and encouraged anyone between the age of 25 to 45 who is a rice producer or a related industry employee who derives their primary livelihood from the rice industry to apply.  Applications are available on the USA Rice website.
  • Rice Field Day in Stoneville Draws a Crowd

    by Colleen Klem | Jul 19, 2016
    Dr. Bobby Golden presenting his research
     GA-Rice Field Day in Stoneville Draws a Crowd-160718

    STONEVILLE, MS - Today, the Delta Research and Extension Center (DREC) held their annual Rice Producer Field Day here to review this year's latest rice research, followed by the Mississippi Farm Bureau's (MFBF) Summer Rice Meeting in the Capps Center.

    During the field tour, research presentations were given on topics including weed and insect control, irrigation, rice breeding, etc. by: Dr. Bobby Golden, Dr. Jason Bond, Dr. Jeff Gore, Dr. Tom Allen, Dr. Jason Krutz, and Dr. Ed Redona.

    The MFBF's Rice Meeting had presentations by: Patrick Swindoll, Chairman of the MFBF Rice Advisory Committee; Mike McCormick, MFBF President; Kirk Satterfield, Vice Chairman of MFBF Rice Advisory Committee; John Campbell, Deputy Commissioner for MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce; Kay Whittington, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; and Ben Mosely, Vice President of Government Affairs for USA Rice.

    Mosely's remarks centered on legislative and regulatory updates from Washington along with a snapshot of the USA Rice work exploring sustainability. "Our Sustainability Committee met last week over the course of eight hours to help put together an industry-wide sustainability plan. USA Rice is pursuing a robust sustainability platform that is economically profitable, socially and environmentally responsible based on sound science and we're looking forward to working with Mississippi as it unfolds," he said.

    In regards to advocacy on Capitol Hill, Mosely added, "USA Rice has been tearing up the pavement in Washington to gain significant access to markets for U.S.-grown rice. Our efforts are starting to show through the recent increases in U.S. rice programmed in international food aid, the rice-specific MOU signed by the U.S. and Iraq, the MOU underway between USA Rice and Cuba, and with the opportunity to normalize agricultural trade with Cuba closer than it's been in 50 years."

    Kirk Satterfield, Mississippi rice farmer and member of the USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors said, "I'm really happy to have USA Rice as a regular part of our program here at our Mississippi Farm Bureau's Rice Meeting, our hard work to become a member state within the Federation has really paid off. We're looking forward to continuing our work with both the USA Rice Farmers Board and the broader Federation and represent Mississippi during policy debates and formulating our positions for the upcoming Farm Bill negotiations."

  • Northeast Louisiana Rice Farmers Host Another Successful Field Day

    by Colleen Klem | Jul 14, 2016
    Dr. Steve Linscombe in the field
     LA Field Day-CROPPED

    OAK RIDGE, LA -- Yesterday morning, Northeast Louisiana rice growers met here at Vic Jordan's farm, Trio Plantation, to hear from Louisiana State University AgCenter researchers on this season's test plots results.

    The group of farmers participated in the morning program in the field with presentations by Dr. Rogers Leonard, Dr. Steve Linscombe, Dr. Dustin Harrell, Dr. Don Groth, Dr. Eric Webster, and Sebe Brown.  Topics from the Crowley-based researchers were varied, ranging from pest management, new varieties and effects on stand and yield, new herbicide treatments, and more.

    Following the field demonstrations, participants traveled to the Rayville Civic Center for additional presentations from Dr. Trey Price, Sebe Brown, and Peter Bachmann with USA Rice.  Bachmann's presentation focused on the state of the rice economy and the work USA Rice is doing to improve the U.S. rice markets.  "Planted rice acres in Louisiana saw an increase of about 24 percent to 440,000 long grain rice acres this year and with excess stocks on-hand from last year, this is a recipe for depressed prices to stick around.  Fortunately, our work in putting the farm safety net together for rice in the 2014 Farm Bill has made us 'the best house in a bad neighborhood' when compared to other commodities," he said.

    Bachmann added, "USA Rice is working hard to focus on permanently opening new export markets like Cuba, securing reliable tenders for Iraq, and finalizing phytosanitary protocols to gain access in China.  Additionally, we're securing conservation financial assistance for producers here on the ground in Louisiana and across the Mid-South, the Gulf, and California through the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited."

    Scott Franklin, a Louisiana rice farmer and owner of Holly Ridge Rice and Grain, and vice president of the Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association, said he's "feeling optimistic about the state of the rice industry, despite lower than desirable prices right now."

    Franklin finished by saying, "The Price Loss Coverage program in place is serving the role it was created for, keeping rice farmers in business during the tough years.  We'd obviously prefer for the market to be healthy enough that rice wouldn't hit its trigger price but we all know 'what goes up, must come down' and vice versa.  Better times are ahead!"
  • Fantastic Weather, Technical Developments, Cuba, and the Rice Leadership Development Program Mark Louisiana Field Days

    by Colleen Klem | Jun 30, 2016
    Linscombe points the way forward
    Linscombe 

    KAPLAN and CROWLEY, LA – As growers know all too well, sometimes the weather just cooperates.  Such was the case this week when torrential and dangerous rains in some areas during the day suddenly gave way to cool evenings and one of the mildest LSU Field Days most can remember.

    On Wednesday, the LSU H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley hosted the 107th annual rice field day to large crowds and insightful presentations led by Dr. Steve Linscombe with other researchers from LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and private industry.

    New varieties – including a Clearfield hybrid; fungicide timing; the impact of Provisia, a new herbicide-tolerant technology, on weed control; and pests – including a new threat from Central America now being tracked in Texas; were covered during the field tours.  Researchers also shared the latest information on promising new techniques to maximize ratoon crops.  

    The sun came out just as the tours were concluding, chasing the hundreds of attendees inside for additional presentations and remarks from Jackie Loewer, Chairman of the Louisiana Rice Research Board, Jim Guinn, USA Rice Vice President of International Promotion, Ronnie Anderson, President of the Louisiana Farm Bureau, and others.

    While the crowd appreciated the fine work the LSU Ag Center staff are completing on behalf of the rice industry, talk of the potential opening of Cuba as a new market for U.S. rice dominated many discussions.

    “Cuba has great potential for us – at one time our top export destination,” said Guinn. “While USA Rice has an excellent relationship with the government and trade in Cuba, it’s going to take some more action by Congress before we can begin to realize the full potential of this market.”

    The evening before the LSU Field Day, more than 100 growers gathered at Christian Richard’s farm in Kaplan for the HorizonAg Field Day that featured exciting presentations, including varieties that Horizon’s General Manager Dr. Tim Walker is confident will satisfy the demanding expectations of Central American customers who are highly focused on quality.

    USA Rice staff attended the field days and gave presentations at meetings of the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board and the Central Louisiana Rice Growers Association (CenLARGA).

    “What struck me most perhaps about all of the activities was the number of graduates and current students in the Rice Leadership Development Program who were presenting,” Guinn added.  “From the HorizonAg host, Christian Richard, to the HorizonAg presenters in Dr. Walker, Michael Fruge, and Sunny Bottoms, to the LSU Field Day, led by Dr. Linscombe and Dr. Dustin Harrell, and John Earles Jr. in the CenLARGA organization.  It shows the success and reach of the program and that the graduates are doing exactly what is expected of them – leading the industry.”

    Leadership grads abound, from the left: Fruge, Bottoms, and Walker
     LA Field Day
  • Rice Reigns in Eagle Lake

    by Colleen Klem | Jun 29, 2016
    Dr. Zhou (Texas A&M AgriLife plant pathologist) shares results from his research plots
    GA- Rice Reigns in Eagle Lake 160629 

    EAGLE LAKE, TX – Yesterday, hundreds of Texas rice farmers gathered here for several meetings that led up to the 42nd Annual Rice Field Day hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension at the David R. Wintermann Rice Research Station.

    The Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group held their semi-annual Board of Directors meeting to handle regular business items along with reports from USA Rice and the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program projects in Texas.

    Following the meeting, producers headed down the road for the Texas Rice Producers meeting, the group that oversees the collection, assessment, and distribution of check- off funds for the state. New board members were sworn in and officers were elected including Scott Savage, a Bay City farmer and the group’s new chairman.

    Dodging a string of thunderstorms, the crowd of rice producers then toured the Wintermann Rice Research Station to learn about a variety of projects that focused on herbicide resistance, pest management, and breeding varieties. The field day wrapped up with the traditional barbecue dinner and presentations by the event sponsors, USA Rice and the U.S. Rice Producers Association.

    At the evening program, Peter Bachmann, USA Rice manager of government affairs, provided an update on the state of the rice economy, saying, “While U.S. and global commodity prices continue on a downward trend, USA Rice is working to remedy the situation for rice domestically by providing access to large, reliable rice markets, providing conservation financial assistance, and increasing rice programmed in U.S. international food aid shipments.”

    Bachmann reminded producers to “remember that rice is considered ‘the best house in a bad neighborhood’ because of the farm safety net we helped put in place in the 2014 Farm Bill. It’s working the way it was designed to work because of USA Rice’s footprint in Washington.”

    Texas rice farmer and member of the USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors Linda Raun deemed the day’s meetings a success.  “We’re really happy to have had the turn out that we did, especially a number of younger members showing interest in becoming leaders of our organizations,” she said.  “With excess water back in our region, a more than 20 percent increase in our rice acreage, and the promise of the Cuban market on the horizon, we’re in a good place to expand our reach.

    Raun continued, “The Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group is ramping up fundraising efforts and starting to put together a committee to look at our Farm Bill positions. It’s important that we assess the programs rice has available to us, even the ones that seem to be working, like Price Loss Coverage, but especially those like crop insurance that still have a way to go to be truly effective for our operations.”

    The second Texas rice field day, hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Research, is scheduled for July 14 at the Beaumont Rice Research Station. 

  • Missouri Hosts First Rice Conservation Field Day

    by Lee Brinckley | Feb 04, 2016
    Packed in
    MO-Hosts-First-Rice-Conservation-Field-Day 
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO – Yesterday morning, more than 50 rice farmers and conservation professionals gathered at the Delta Fisher Research Center in Portageville, Missouri, for the first ever Southeast Missouri Rice Conservation Field Day.  

    The Field Day was organized by USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited to provide outreach to rice farmers in the Missouri Bootheel for their National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, Sustaining the Future of Rice.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri in conjunction with the University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center handled most of the local outreach and planning for the event.

    Participants had an opportunity to hear presentations on behalf of the Missouri NRCS State Conservationist’s office, NRCS headquarters in Washington, Ducks Unlimited, and a legislative update from USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely.  

    Mosely told the crowd, “It is great to get so many people together with positive common goals and share our respective visions for the RCPP and the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership.  USA Rice looks forward to continuing to build relationships in the Bootheel and deliver additional funding to the Missouri rice industry.”

    Blake Gerard, Missouri rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Farmers also attended the event, and said, “I was thrilled to see how receptive my friends and neighbors were towards this Field Day, and it was imperative that conservation staff were in the room and able to answer specific, technical questions for folks.”

    Gerard concluded, “Our region needs to be implementing as many conservation practices as possible as preventative measures in today’s environmentally sensitive society.  This project is bringing the incentive right to our front door to make sure we continue to responsibly care for our land.”

    Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program portion of the National Rice RCPP project are due to Missouri and Louisiana NRCS offices by November 20.

  • Missouri Hosts First Rice Conservation Field Day

    by Deborah Willenborg | Nov 13, 2015
    Packed in
    MO-Hosts-First-Rice-Conservation-Field-Day 
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO – Yesterday morning, more than 50 rice farmers and conservation professionals gathered at the Delta Fisher Research Center in Portageville, Missouri, for the first ever Southeast Missouri Rice Conservation Field Day.  

    The Field Day was organized by USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited to provide outreach to rice farmers in the Missouri Bootheel for their National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, Sustaining the Future of Rice.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri in conjunction with the University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center handled most of the local outreach and planning for the event.

    Participants had an opportunity to hear presentations on behalf of the Missouri NRCS State Conservationist’s office, NRCS headquarters in Washington, Ducks Unlimited, and a legislative update from USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely.  

    Mosely told the crowd, “It is great to get so many people together with positive common goals and share our respective visions for the RCPP and the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership.  USA Rice looks forward to continuing to build relationships in the Bootheel and deliver additional funding to the Missouri rice industry.”

    Blake Gerard, Missouri rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Farmers also attended the event, and said, “I was thrilled to see how receptive my friends and neighbors were towards this Field Day, and it was imperative that conservation staff were in the room and able to answer specific, technical questions for folks.”

    Gerard concluded, “Our region needs to be implementing as many conservation practices as possible as preventative measures in today’s environmentally sensitive society.  This project is bringing the incentive right to our front door to make sure we continue to responsibly care for our land.”

    Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program portion of the National Rice RCPP project are due to Missouri and Louisiana NRCS offices by November 20.

  • Fisher Delta Center Field Day Attracts a Crowd

    by Michael Klein | Sep 04, 2015
    Senator Roy Blunt Speaking at Missouri Field DaySenator Roy Blunt
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO – USA Rice was a sponsor of the University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center’s 54th annual field day held here Wednesday.  More than 500 people, including producers, agribusiness representatives, and local, state, and national elected officials attended an appreciation breakfast before the field day tours.


    Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) were keynote speakers at the event.  Each addressed the growing importance of agricultural research with today’s growing global population and highlighted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overreach, which they said is hurting American farmers.

    USA Rice’s Chuck Wilson and Kristen Dayton participated in the event and also met with Missouri rice producers from around the region, including Cape Girardeau’s Blake Gerard, the newly elected chairman of USA Rice Farmers.

  • USA Rice Continues Rice Industry Visits, Participates in Annual Field Day

    by Colleen Klem | Aug 27, 2015
    Lundberg Family Farms CEO Grant Lundberg (l) and Dow Brantley
    GA- USA Rice Continues CA Rice Industry Visit Edited 

    BIGGS, CA - Yesterday, USA Rice Chairman Dow Brantley continued his California rice industry visit at the California Rice Experiment Station's annual field day held here. Brantley and USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward provided educational resources for attendees on behalf of USA Rice and visited the wide range of rice test plots throughout the station.

    Following the field day, Brantley met with Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Foods in Richvale, California to discuss relevant industry issues and to tour the processing facilities and company headquarters.

    The California visit wrapped up with a trip to the rice farming operations of USA Rice Council Chair Sean Doherty in Dunnigan, and USA Rice Farmers Conservation Committee Chair Leo LaGrande in Williams.

    "I'm pleased we were able to participate in a California field day again and that our chairman was able to take time away from his operations in Arkansas to visit with California leaders," said Ward. "It's that grower-to-grower contact across a wide geography that strengthens our industry and is, I believe, one of the primary functions of USA Rice."

    Brantley thought the time away from his farm was well spent. "I was able to meet with members from every sector of the industry out here - farmers, millers, merchants, and spend time with the chairman of the USA Rice Council. It was eye-opening to see the California operations - to see what they are doing differently than us in the south and hear first hand about the sometimes unique challenges they are facing here. I was happy to share insights into what we are doing and dealing with in the south, and Betsy and I will take back what we learned here. It's a win-win for us all." 

  • 2015 Horizon Ag Field Day Emphasizes Quality

    by Deborah Willenborg | Aug 21, 2015
    In the field with Horizon Ag
    2015-Horizon-Ag-Field-Day 
    JONESBORO, AR -- Over 100 attendees attended the 2015 Horizon Ag Field Day yesterday at Mark Wimpy Farms.  The event included a look at current and new Clearfield varieties as well as an update on the harvest in Louisiana.

    “Today was an opportunity to show the focus Horizon Ag has on providing valuable agronomic information to help rice farmers maximize production and profits and to show we have heard the message loud and clear for the need to improve quality, said Tim Walker, general manager at Horizon Ag.

    “Not only are we committed to improving production on U.S. rice farms, we are also focused on improving the overall quality of U.S.-grown rice to meet the needs of our export partners," Walker said. "Our industry was once the unmatched leader in producing high-quality rice grain, but today, there is more competition for that title.  We can separate ourselves again by focusing breeding and development on varieties that bring value at the buyer level and improved production at the farm level."
  • USA Rice Attends 2015 Arkansas RiceTec Field Day & Ag Council of Arkansas

    by Deborah Willenborg | Aug 21, 2015
    USA Rice's Ben Mosely at the mic
     Ben Mosely at 2015 AR Field Day
    JONESBORO & MARIANNA, AR -- USA Rice staff traveled to Arkansas this week to participate in rice industry meetings in eastern Arkansas.  USA Rice Government Affairs Vice President Ben Mosely attended both meetings and gave updates on USA Rice’s work on key industry issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), market access to China, Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and recent tenders in Iraq.  Mosely also talked about USA Rice efforts to educate newly elected members of Congress about issues important to the U.S. rice industry.

    More than 200 growers and industry representatives attended RiceTec’s annual Field Day Tuesday outside of Jonesboro.  Participants had the opportunity to go on field tours, meet with vendors, and hear RiceTec representatives talk about current varieties as well as new varieties on the horizon.  Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR), representing Arkansas’ first district, took the stage in Jonesboro to tell attendees about several regulatory issues currently facing the U.S. rice industry, and applaud USA Rice for doing a great job on industry’s behalf keeping legislators up-to-date.

    On Thursday, Mosely addressed members of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas who gathered at the University of Arkansas Cotton Research Station in Mariana.  Senator John Boozman (R-AR) was on-hand to discuss the fall agenda for the Senate, and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge spoke about her involvement in lawsuits challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial WOTUS regulations.  

    Conservation and sustainability were an important topic of discussion all week.  Mosely reminded farmers in Arkansas to submit Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) applications as part of the National Rice RCPP project.  EQIP applications are due to local Natural Resource Conservation Service offices by October 16.
  • Mississippi Holds Farm Bureau Summer Rice Grower Meeting and Field Day

    by Colleen Klem | Jul 31, 2015
    Ward talks trade to a packed house in Mississppi
     MS-MS-Field-Day,-BW-Cuba-slide-SMALL-150731

    STONEVILLE, MS -- The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Summer Rice Grower Policy Meeting was held yesterday, and USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward and Government Affairs Vice President Ben Mosley were featured speakers. 

    Ward spoke about the extensive promotion programs USA Rice conducts in 30 global markets and about exciting developments in new and developing markets around the world. 

    "Exports are vital for our industry which is why we are working so hard to secure access in Iraq, protect our Mexican market, and to open the Cuban and Chinese markets in viable ways," she told the crowd.

    Mosley provided updates on Congressional outreach being conducted by USA Rice. 

    "We are continuously meeting with our friends in Congress and also educating new Members to ensure our rice priorities are well understood," he said.

    Mosely also reminded attendees about 2014 Farm Bill provisions that USA Rice aggressively advocated for such as Price Loss Coverage and the new crop insurance products, Supplemental Coverage Option, and Margin Protection.

    "We're working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and their Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency to ensure these programs work to the best benefit of rice farmers."

    USA Rice staff also attended the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board meeting and the Mississippi Rice Field Day at the conclusion of the Farm Bureau Grower Meeting. 

  • USA Rice Participates in LSU Rice Field Day; Reports to LA Rice Promotion Board

    by Colleen Klem | Jul 06, 2015

     USA Rice's Bob Cummings
    CROWLEY, LA -- More than 400 rice farmers and industry stakeholders gathered here last week for the 106th Annual Louisiana State University AgCenter Rice Research Field Day. USA Rice is an annual sponsor of the field day where growers receive the latest rice research findings and crop production recommendations from AgCenter scientists and extension personnel.
     
    USA Rice's Bob Cummings reviewed the comprehensive report by the U.S. International Trade Commission on the global position of the U.S. rice industry.  The report, Rice: Global Competitiveness of the U.S. Rice Industry, is positive on the competitiveness of the industry, while also highlighting foreign government rice policies that could threaten U.S. competitiveness.  Cummings also talked about efforts to preserve our competitiveness in Mexico, the number one rice export market, and China, where USA Rice has been seeking access for nine years.
     
    Following the field day activities, USA Rice staff presented the annual USA Rice Council report to the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board, the governor-appointed producer board responsible for allocating funds from the state's rice promotion check-off. 
     
    Cummings reviewed USA Rice's ongoing mechanisms for reporting activities to members and presented the financial report.  He also discussed domestic promotion activities, highlighting efforts to leverage food policy, educate registered retail dieticians, engage influential food and nutrition bloggers, educate school students, and continue outreach to foodservice.  Cummings also provided a look ahead at rice promotion plans during the 25th anniversary of September National Rice Month.  He stressed the value of having Louisiana producers involved in developing and guiding promotion programs. 
     
    Jim Guinn, vice president of international promotion, reviewed market challenges and opportunities in top U.S. export markets focusing on Mexico, Central America, European Union, United Kingdom, Colombia, and Iraq, and outlined efforts to increase rice sales in each. 
     
  • Field Day Features USA Rice Presentations

    by Colleen Klem | Jul 02, 2015
     Rice farmer Ray Stoesser (l) in talks with USA Rice's Ben Mosely
    EAGLE LAKE, TX -- USA Rice staff Betsy Ward and Ben Mosely addressed Texas farmers at the dinner and program following the Eagle Lake Rice Field Day this week. 
     
    Ward gave an overview of USA Rice work on behalf of rice farmers and specifically addressed trade issues critical to the rice industry like the TPP negotiations, Iraq, China, and domestic and international promotion initiatives. 
     
    Mosely outlined USA Rice's work with Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on implementation of the farm bill, and plans to submit a pre-proposal next week for a small reservoir here as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  The project will be executed in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited and the Lower Colorado River Authority, among several other partners, as a way to reduce groundwater usage on rice fields and in managed waterfowl habitat.
     
    "Visiting farmers helps us develop our message to Congress and federal agencies," said Ward.  "Rice is a small commodity and our goal is to speak to policymakers and influencers with one voice so that the industry delivers a strong, clear message.  We want to keep fighting above our weight class for farmers in Texas and across the rice states."
     
    Ward and Mosely also answered questions on recent changes to farm policy and trade from members of the Texas Rice Producers' Legislative Group and the Texas Rice Producers' Board and heard from both groups about the important issues on the ground.