Mississippi Rice Farmers Join USA Rice Federation
Mississippi rice farmers have joined the USA Rice Federation, which now represents about 90 percent of U.S. rice production as well as the industry infrastructure that supports U.S. rice farming, including millers, merchants and exporters, through its member associations.
“As Mississippi rice farmers, we took a critical look at our long-term needs and determined the USA Rice Federation offers the leadership and programs necessary to tackle the significant challenges we and the rice industry as a whole must address,” said Mississippi Rice Promotion Board Chairman Claude Gibson “Gibb” Steele III, a rice producer from Hollandale, Mississippi.
The Mississippi Rice Council adopted a “unity resolution” in November 2011 in an effort to promote industry unity and cooperation among all rice producers, across all rice-state boundaries and across all industry segments. Discussions between Mississippi rice farmers and farmers in USA Rice Council member states continued throughout 2012. On Dec. 20, 2012, the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board voted unanimously to join USA Rice, which rice leaders hailed as an important step in rice industry unification.
“I commend Mississippi for their commitment to unity and for entering into a dialogue with USA Rice. We need Mississippi at the table as we’re developing and implementing programs and thank them for their decision to join us,” said USA Rice Council Chairman Joe Mencer, a rice farmer from Lake Village, Arkansas.
“The USA Rice Producers’ Group wholeheartedly welcomes Mississippi. It is more important now than ever that rice farmers join together and that we work side by side as one industry,” said USA Rice Producers’ Group Chairman Linda Raun, a rice producer from El Campo, TX.