USA Rice Stewardship Partnership Gains New Sponsor

    Ducks in flooded rice fields after harvest. Photo: University of Arkansas

    The USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership has gained a new sponsor, the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, the first agricultural lending entity to invest in the Partnership.

    “We have seen the Rice Stewardship Partnership positively impact working ricelands in Arkansas,” said Greg Cole, CEO and president of AgHeritage Farm Credit Services.

    “Conservation practices can deliver economic value for not only farmers, but also local communities, landowners, and their financial partners. The Farm Credit Associations are excited to support this work, expanding voluntary conservation opportunities for our members and Arkansas rice farmers.”

    The Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas are part of the national Farm Credit System which has supported rural America since 1916. In Arkansas, each of the four independent associations is owned by its members and serves a different part of the state.

    Farm Credit of Western Arkansas serves the western region, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services serves the central region, Farm Credit Midsouth serves the eastern region, while Delta, ACA, serves customers in the state’s four most southeastern counties. Collectively, their more than 11,000 members include both traditional and non-traditional farmers, rural homeowners, livestock operators, and landowners.

    “With the support of the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, our rice producers can participate in programs that promote the viability of family farms for future generations,” said Josh Hankins, USA Rice director of the Rice Stewardship Partnership. “The Partnership has brought an additional $18.3 million in conservation programs to Arkansas rice farmers and this important collaboration with industry supporters ensures these efforts will continue.”

    Founded in 2013, the Rice Stewardship Partnership is a collaborative effort to conserve three of the nation’s critical natural and economic resources – waterfowl, working ricelands, and water – and is the first formal conservation partnership between a commodity organization and a conservation organization.

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