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Texas Tenacity
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A Banquet For Ducks
Running The Shovel
From the Editor
Rice Producers Forum
USA Rice Federation
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USDA economic survey set for January through April

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the next several months contacting farmers and ranchers across the nation to conduct the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The results of this survey will serve as a baseline for numerous federal policies and programs that affect U.S. farms and farm families.

NASS conducts ARMS jointly with USDA’s Economic Research Service. In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, the federal agencies will reach out to nearly 35,000 producers nationwide between late January and April 2012.

The national survey asks the producers to provide information on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics.

“Decision makers from all facets of U.S. agriculture will use the collective information from ARMS to answer questions and make important decisions concerning the economic viability of American agriculture, the rural economy and other emerging issues,” says Dee Webb, Deputy Director of the NASS North Carolina Field Office. “It is imperative for all farmers contacted by NASS to provide responses and help shape the future of U.S. agriculture.”

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

The economic data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on Aug. 2, 2012. All NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.


Meetings scheduled for California rice producers

The latest news on issues affecting California rice farmers will be presented during the upcoming annual grower meetings held by the California Rice Commission (CRC), scheduled for Jan. 12, 2012.

Those attending will receive an update on news important to the rice industry from the state capitol by George Soares, founding member and partner of the prestigious law firm Kahn, Soares and Conway. Randy Russell, partner of the government relations firm, Russell and Barron, will detail the latest from Washington, D.C. The CRC will outline its activities in the regulatory, conservation and public education areas.

The morning session begins at 9:00 a.m. and will be held at the Bonanza Inn Magnuson Grand Hotel in Yuba City, while the afternoon meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the Colusa Casino Resort Conference Center in Colusa. Registration will be held 30 minutes prior to each meeting.

All members of the rice industry are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served, and there will be raffle prizes at each meeting. Dow AgroSciences is sponsoring this year’s meetings.

For more information about the events, contact Jim Morris at (916) 387-2264 or jmorris@calrice.org.


2012 Rice Leadership Development Program class

Members of the 2012 Rice Leadership Development Program class were announced in December during the annual Rice Awards Luncheon at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Austin.

The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals selected by a committee of agribusiness leaders.

The new rice producer class members are Brian Barrett, Arbuckle, Calif.; Rance Daniels, Hornersville, Mo.; Timothy Gertson, Lissie, Texas; Noble Guedon, Natchez, Miss.; and Clint Roth, Stuttgart, Ark. The new industry-related class members are Natalie Hummel, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge, La.; and Brice Lauppe, Farmer’s Rice Cooperative, Roseville, Calif.

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 training.

During a two-year period, the new class members will attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.

John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc. and American Commodity Company sponsor the Rice Leadership Development Program through a grant to The Rice Foundation. The USA Rice Federation administers the program.


Arkansas Farm Family of the Year

Heath Long, his wife Betsy and daughters Shelby and Sydney were named the 65th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year recently. As a fourth generation rice farmer, Long owns Long Planting Company and has been working on the family farm all of his life. After graduating from Arkansas State University in 1995, he returned to farm rice, soybeans and wheat on 2,243 acres south of DeWitt.

Long is active in the community as a volunteer firefighter and is vice president of the Arkansas County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the Arkansas Rice Council Board of Directors, USA Rice Council Board of Directors and the USA Rice Federation Europe, Africa and Middle East Promotion and Latin America Trade Policy Subcommittees. The Arkansas farmer also is a past graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program.

The Longs, as Arkansas Farm Family of the Year, will compete in the 2012 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year program against farm families from 10 Southeastern states with the overall winner being announced in October.


Texas drought and lake water levels on interactive Web site

For Texas rice producers or anyone else interested in following the developments regarding drought and lake water levels, check out the interactive Web site at http://hydromet.lcra.org.

The Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) Hydromet system allows you to select one of the eight map locations to highlight. The maps range from the Upper Northeast region near Abilene to the Highland Lakes area to the city of Austin and down to the Gulf Coast at Matagorda Bay.


National Rice Month grand prize winner announced

The 2011 National Rice Month Scholarship grand prize was awarded to Kori Caswell of Hannibal, Mo.

Caswell took top honors and earned a $4,000 scholarship for her promotion about the importance of choosing U.S.-grown rice. She conducted innovative promotions, including recording an original jingle that was featured on three radio spots.

Additional National Rice Month scholarship prizes were awarded to Haley Strutz of Cotton Plant, Ark., (second place, $3,000) and Luke MacFarlan of Siloam Springs, Ark., (third place, $1,500).

The scholarship is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

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