First Session Completed
The 2013-15 Rice Leadership Development Program class participated in its first session March 11-15, with a look at rice production and marketing programs in the Gulf Coast states of Texas and Louisiana.
In Texas, the group met with USA Rice Federation staff and also visited Anheuser- Busch, the largest domestic user of rice; Creed Rice Inc., where alumnus Michael Creed explained the role of international brokers; and the offices of the USRPA.
Riviana Foods Inc. employees reviewed consumer and industrial marketing techniques, while alumni Terry Hlavinka, Jerry Boettcher, Ralph Novosad and Linda Raun spoke about Texas rice production before the class visited the farms of Ronald Gertson and Steve Balas.
The group also met with Dick Ottis, executive vice president of Rice Belt Warehouse Inc., the state’s largest rice storage facility, before going to RiceTec Inc., where hybrid rice production technology was discussed. At the final stop in Texas, class members met alumnus Mike Doguet and toured Doguet’s Rice Mill, Sod Farm and Cattle Ranch in Beaumont.
In Louisiana, the class met with alumnus Philip Bertrand of Farmers Rice Milling Company in Lake Charles, who explained Louisiana rice marketing; then traveled to Crowley for a tour of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, where alumnus Dr. Steve Linscombe summarized the latest rice research. In Lacassine, alumnus Mark Pousson gave the class an overview of the new South Louisiana Rail Facility.
After a stop at JohnPac Inc. to observe bag manufacturing, the class toured the farm of alumnus Christian Richard. Session I concluded with a visit to Russell Marine Group in Metairie and a tour of a mid-stream loading facility on the Mississippi River, where they observed a ship being loaded with longgrain rice headed for Venezuela.
The Rice Leadership Development Program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc. and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and is managed by the USA Rice Federation.
New Rice ‘Cheat Sheet’
The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has produced a reference sheet listing all the basics for rice farming. The fact sheet was compiled by Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture; Lance Schmidt, Extension area rice agronomist; and Ralph Mazzanti, also an Extension area rice agronomist.
Go to www.arkansas-crops.com/wp-content/ uploads/2013/02/2013-Arkansas-Rice- Quick-Facts.pdf. Copies also will soon be available at county Extension offices.