• Application Deadline for Rice Leadership Program Nears

    by Deborah Willenborg | Sep 24, 2015
    Rice Foundation logo
    STUTTGART, AR – Rice producers and other industry-related professionals who are interested and meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to complete the application process for the Rice Leadership Development program by October 3.  The next class will be announced in December at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.  

    The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills training.  During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.

    The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals chosen by a committee of agribusiness leaders evaluating their applications, reviewing letters of recommendation and conducting personal interviews with the finalists.  Candidates must be 25-45 at the time of application and derive their primary livelihood from some aspect of the rice industry.

    The program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and managed by the USA Rice Federation.

    To apply for the program, please click on 2016 Rice Leadership Program Application Form.
  • Rice Leadership Class Finishes Session II in Arkansas and Mississippi

    by User Not Found | Jun 26, 2015
    LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- After leaving the great mid-west area of the country, the 2015/17 Rice Leadership Development Class traveled to Arkansas to study the state's rice farming practices and processing industries.  The itinerary included professional development seminars and meetings with executives at Producers Rice Mill and Riceland Foods. 
     
    The group also discussed conservation practices with Ducks Unlimited President and rice farmer George Dunklin and toured the Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center to learn about the latest developments in rice research.   
     
    Class member Collin Holzhauer, with Southern Rice & Cotton, said, "The highlight of Session II for me was touring George Dunklin's farming operation south of Stuttgart. George is president of Ducks Unlimited, and is a devout conservationist who employs management practices that are truly incredible. He plants a few hundred acres of rice just for the ducks to eat over the winter, and operates a tree nursery where they grow containerized bottomland hardwood species for restoration. 

    At Five Oaks Duck Lodge (from left): Chuck Wilson, Dustin Harrell, Nicole Creason, Nat McKnight, Hudgens Jeter, Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, and Paul Johnson.
    Session-II,-AR-Duck-Lodge

    Holzhauer continued, "George also graciously hosted a Rice Leadership Alumni dinner at his lodge.  There was an amazing turn out - more than seventy people attended, including some who drove from Mississippi and Louisiana.  That's how dedicated people are to this program."
     
    From Arkansas, the class traveled to Mississippi to tour Farmers Grain Terminal, Inc. in Greenville, a regional grain marketing company serving over 2,900 producers/owners in the Mississippi delta, southeast Arkansas, and northeast Louisiana.
     
    "As rice farmers and industry professionals, we watch our crops grow and see their progression throughout the growing season and harvest, but there are so many moving parts of the rice industry that we don't see on a daily basis that hold a vital role in the production of rice," said Nicole Creason, a class member and rice producer from Jonesboro, Arkansas. "In Session II, we got the chance to witness some of these processes in action and it was very enlightening."

    The Rice Leadership Development Program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc. and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and is managed by the USA Rice Federation.

    Image on left: Grading the grader at Producers Rice Mill. Image on right: They look ready to lead (from left): Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, and Nat McKnight.
    Grading the grader  at Producers Rice Mill.   They look ready to lead (from left):  Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, and Nat McKnight.

  • Rice Leadership Development Session II, First Stop: CBOT and John Deere

    by Colleen Klem | Jun 17, 2015
    From left: Hudgens Jeter, Paul Johnson, Nat McKnight, Nicole Creason, Collin Holzhauer, Greg Van Dyke, Dutin Harrell, and Kevin Ripple with John Deere.
     From left: Hudgens Jeter, Paul Johnson, Nat McKnight, Nicole Creason, Collin Holzhauer,  Greg Van Dyke, Dutin Harrell, and Kevin Ripple with John Deere.

    MOLINE, ILLINOIS -- The 2015/17 Rice Leadership Development Program class began the week in Chicago at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), where the class met with Fred Seamon, Senior Director, Commodity Research & Product Development.  Seamon provided an overview on using the CBOT as a tool to reduce risk. 
     

    "CBOT really opened my eyes to what is happening after the rice leaves my farm," said class member Paul Johnson, a rice farmer from Welsh, Louisiana. "Because farmers tend to concentrate on producing a safe and abundant crop while focused on water and environmental stewardship, we forget there are market forces beyond our immediate control that can help a farmer who is paying attention, or hurt a farmer who doesn't know what to consider."
     
    The class also visited the world headquarters here of program sponsor John Deere where they met with company executives and toured the combine factory.
     
    This is the second of four week-long sessions in the two-year leadership program.  It includes personal development workshops on presentation skills, media training and business etiquette. The class will now travel to Arkansas and Mississippi to study those state's rice farming practices and processing industries.
     
    The seven class members are rice producers Johnson; Nicole Creason, Jonesboro, AR; Greg Van Dyke, Pleasant Grove, CA; Nat McKnight, Cleveland, MS; and Hudgens Jeter, Stuttgart, AR; and rice industry representatives Dr. Dustin Harrell, Rayne, LA with LSU AgCenter, and Collin Holzhauer, Harrisburg, AR with Southern Rice & Cotton.
     
    The Rice Leadership Development Program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc., and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and is managed by the USA Rice Federation.

     
  • Rice Foundation Accepting Applications for 2016 Rice Leadership Development Program

    by Colleen Klem | Jun 03, 2015
    Session One includes a tour of the LSU Rice Research Station
    LSU 
    STUTTGART, AR -- The Rice Foundation is accepting applications for the 2016 Rice Leadership Development Program. Rice producers or industry-related professionals between the ages of 25 and 45 are eligible to apply for the program. The application deadline is October 3. 
     
    The Rice Leadership Development Program provides a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions designed to strengthen leadership skills through studies of all aspects of the rice industry. 
     
    The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals chosen by a committee of agribusiness leaders. The committee evaluates the applications of all candidates, reviews letters of recommendation, and conducts personal interviews with the finalists. Interviews will be conducted at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, in December.
     
    The program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and managed by the USA Rice Federation. 
     
    Additional information on the Rice Leadership Development Program and an application form can be found on the USA Rice website.