USA Rice seeks nominations for second annual Rice Sustainability Award

Jennifer James, and Jim and Lesli Whitaker

Jennifer James (left), and Jim and Lesli Whitaker — photo courtesy USA Rice

If you know a grower or entity that has embraced sustainability through innovative practices and leadership, they might be a perfect candidate for the second annual USA Rice Sustainability Award.

Now in its second year, the award is designed to highlight rice’s unique environmental qualities and the men and women who improve its sustainability every day, according to a new release.

“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 and help others follow in their footsteps,” says Jennifer James, a Newport, Arkansas, rice farmer who chairs the USA Rice Sustainability Committee.

“While sustainability is becoming a buzzword in nearly every industry, the rice industry has been incorporating it for years, and with the establishment of the USA Rice Sustainability Award we have taken our rightful place at the forefront of the sustainability movement.”

Jim Whitaker, who farms rice with his brother, Sam, and other family members near McGehee, Arkansas, was the first recipient. The Whitakers use precision land forming, flood-control structures, on-farm water storage, and automated irrigation technology and new irrigation techniques. They also were an integral part of a group that sold the first-ever voluntary carbon credits generated from U.S. rice farmers.

Deadline to submit nominations is Sept. 28. The award will be presented at the USA Rice Outlook Conference, Dec. 10, in San Diego, California.

Download an application from USA Rice.