Thursday, June 30, 2022

USA Rice opens applications for annual rice sustainability award

rainbow over a sustainable rice field
Mother Nature shines her favorable light on sustainability — photo by Jenna Martin

While insiders know U.S.-grown rice is one of the most sustainable and responsibly grown crops in the world, telling that story is increasingly important. To help recognize the crop’s unique environmental qualities, USA Rice launched a Sustainability Award in 2018 to showcase the people who improve rice’s sustainability every day.

The USA Rice Sustainability Award is open to individuals or entities with significant involvement in the U.S. rice industry. They should have a history of promoting and advancing sustainability through innovative practices and demonstrated leadership in the sustainability community.

“We are looking for men and women and companies who embody sustainability by their actions and who are willing to share their vision of the future and commitment to the environment to help others follow in their footsteps,” said Jennifer James, an Arkansas rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Sustainability Committee. “While sustainability is now a buzzword in nearly every industry, the rice industry has been incorporating it for years, and has been at the forefront of the sustainability movement.”

2020 recipient

Last year’s USA Rice Sustainability award went to Dr. Michele Reba, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service. Reba was chosen for her leadership and innovative research around sustainable rice production.

Her specialties in civil engineering and hydrology make her unique in the rice research world. What truly sets her apart is her ability to bring together university professors, ARS researchers, crop consultants and farmers to work on difficult research questions around water use in rice.

The award committee is now accepting nominations through Oct. 8, and the award will be presented at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans Dec. 6.

The application form can be found here. If you have questions, contact Steve Linscombe at

USA Rice contributed this article.

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