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Industry News print email

International Rice Leadership class travels to Mexico, Cuba

The 2011 International Rice Leadership Class traveled to Mexico and Cuba to advance their leadership skills through education on foreign markets. Their itinerary included a review of USA Rice Federation promotion activities, meetings with trade representatives, U.S. government officials in Mexico and Cuban governmental officials in Havana.

While in Mexico, the class participated in USA Rice promotion and cooking demonstrations at Sam’s Club Tepeyac, the highest volume Sam’s store in Mexico. The class visited with two of the top wholesalers/distributors in Mexico and participated in a briefing and discussion on rice market issues.

The leadership class also traveled to Havana, Cuba, where they attended the Havana Trade Fair and met with Mario G. Diaz Muñoz, the new president of Alimport, the Cuban government’s foodimporting agency.

Prior to the 1962 embargo, Cuba was the top export destination for U.S. grown rice. In 2000, Congress passed legislation that permitted U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba, and rice sales totaled 635,000 MT between 2002 and 2006. A rule tightening in 2005, along with steady deterioration of Cuba’s economy, crippled U.S. exports to Cuba and there have been no U.S. sales since 2008.

The International Rice Leadership class members are growers Curtis Berry, Robinsonville, Miss.; Heath Long, Tichnor, Ark.; Kirk Meins, Stuttgart, Ark.; and David Petter, Stuttgart, Ark.; and industry representative Dr. Tim Walker, Mississippi State University, Merigold, Miss.

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


Dow AgroSciences assists in Arkansas flood relief efforts

Because of devastating floods that occurred earlier in Arkansas, Dow Agro- Sciences, through The Dow Chemical Company Foundation donated $12,500 to the Arkansas Rice Depot to help with flood relief efforts. With 300 Dow AgroSciences customer locations and more than 1 million acres impacted in the Mid-South region, which includes Arkansas, the funds will be used in efforts to help the agricultural community recover from the flood damage.

“With so many people affected by the floods in Arkansas, it is important that we as a company step up and help those who were affected, including many of our customers and employees, while they are in their time of need,” says Jay Golz, Dow AgroSciences district sales manager, Coastal Mid-South.

“We are grateful for the significant $12,500 investment that Dow AgroSciences has made in Arkansas through its support of the disaster relief efforts of Arkansas Rice Depot,” says Arkansas Rice Depot president and CEO Laura Rhea. “Arkansas is no stranger to disasters, but this year has been one of the worst for tornados and floods. Many Arkansans are still struggling to overcome the loss of homes, businesses and personal possessions.

“Arkansas Rice Depot has provided more than 100,000 pounds of food and household items to 13 counties in the state, and our work will continue as long as there is a need,” she adds. “Whether it is a disaster that affects one home, or hundreds, Arkansas Rice Depot, with the support of Dow Agro- Sciences, continues to be ready to respond to help our neighbors in need.”


RiceTec revamps online presence

As consumer demand for and dependence on Web-based communication increases, RiceTec has launched a new, user-friendly Web site at RiceTec.com.

Featuring a simple, yet stylish, earth-toned design, the new Web site is easier for users to navigate, respond, share and view multimedia content. The site provides direct links to RiceTec’s Twitter feed and Facebook page for those who want to stay informed and up-to-date via social media. The site also boasts a new search feature offering more effective results.

Each page of the site features a Google+ option, allowing visitors to publicly recommend content to friends with a Google+ profile, the Internet’s newest social-networking platform. For those who prefer RSS feeds, RiceTec’s site now offers that subscription service, too.

Along with the new iPhone application for drill calibration, RiceTec’s efforts to assist smartphone users now include a smoother video platform. Visitors no longer have to struggle with Flash to view the site or RiceTec podcasts on their mobile devices.

“These new mobile capabilities allow users to take us with them wherever they may be,” says Brian Ottis, marketing and client support manager for RiceTec.

Reflecting RiceTec’s position as the technological leader in the rice industry, the Web site is also optimized for speed, allowing users to quickly access RiceTec information, products, data, contacts and events.

“We are always forward-thinking when it comes to creating new ways for producing a quality rice product,” says Ottis. “We applied that same mentality to inventing new ways for communicating with and servicing our customers.”


Monsanto supports families hit by disaster in Miss. Delta

The Mississippi Delta region suffered through one of the worst floods in recent history this past spring, with up to seven million acres of fertile farmland under water in this highly productive part of the country.

In continued efforts by Monsanto to support farmers, the company donated $15,000 to the Save the Delta Coalition to help the region rebuild. The donation was part of the Monsanto Pledge Award program.

The $15,000 donation was made as part of the Monsanto Pledge Award, which honors Monsanto employees, projects or programs in six categories and gives each winning group the opportunity to direct a $15,000 donation to the nonprofit organization of their choice.


Soucy launches new Web site

Soucy Track, a Canadian manufacturer of rubber tracks for farm vehicles, is launching a brand new Web site.

The company’s recent successes at the international level confirm that the market is indeed hot. A revamped Web site is crucial to meeting the expectations and standards of today’s users.

“The popularity of tracks has clearly been on the rise over the past few years, and we are looking to establish ourselves as the leader in this field,” says Eric Ellyson, general manager of the Soucy Group.

“As the first company on the market to offer a Web site of this quality, we feel that we are taking a step in the right direction,” he adds.

The Drummondville company hopes to better inform its clientele as to which vehicles are compatible with its track systems through the Web site.

“In order to get the best results, a track system must not in any way alter the tractor on which it is installed,” explains André Léger, director of engineering. “All tractors have different designs, and in order to ensure optimum product quality, we must direct our research and development efforts to models that are a good fit for our tracks. We are therefore using this new Web site to inform consumers about which tractor models are compatible with tracks made by Soucy Track.”

Other new features include the Distribution Network and Exhibitions sections. Some social media are also making an appearance on the new site.

Please visit the new Web site at www.soucy-track.com.

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