Rice Commission honors two growers for their storytelling

Tim Johnson Kurt Richter

Tim Johnson, (left) president and CEO of the California Rice Commission, presents Colusa County rice producer Kurt Richter with the Circle of Life Aard. Also receiving the award was Richvale-area rice grower Matthew Sligar — photo by Ellen Martin

The California Rice Commission recently recognized a handful of individuals during its Circle of Life Reception in Sacramento, which is an annual opportunity to tell the industry’s story to key audiences.

In a sushi-rolling competition that involved lawmakers, Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle won the coveted Capitol Roller Award. He beat out fellow Assembly members Jim Cooper, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Devon Mathis.

Chef Billy Ngo of Kru Restaurant provided guidance as the lawmakers tried their hands making a California roll.

The commission also recognized Kurt Richter, a Colusa County rice grower and producer of the Rice Radio podcast, and Matthew Sligar, a Richvale-area rice grower and the videographer behind Rice Farming TV, with Circle of Life awards.

The two were honored for their creativity and dedication telling the California rice story through social media.

Artist Franceska Gaméz was on hand with this year’s California rice painting, “Shared Abundance,” which will be the subject of a mural in downtown Sacramento.