USA Rice seeks nominations for annual sustainability award

• By Lydia Holmes •

Dhu Thompson, owner of Delta Plastics, is surrounded by company employees after he received the USA Rice Sustainability Award at last year’s USA Rice Outlook Conference

While this year may look very different in many ways, the sustainability efforts of the U.S. rice industry continue with renewed commitment. Take time to recognize the crop’s unique environmental qualities and the diligent men and women who improve rice’s sustainability every day by nominating them for the 2020 USA Rice Sustainability Award.

The annual award is open to individuals or entities with significant involvement in the U.S. rice industry and with a history of promoting and advancing sustainability through innovative practices and demonstrated leadership.

“We are looking for individuals and/or companies that embody sustainability by their actions, are willing to share their vision of the future and commitment to the environment, and want to help others follow in their footsteps,” said Jennifer James, an Arkansas rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Sustainability Committee. “The U.S. rice industry’s commitment to sustainability dates back generations, long before the word ‘sustainability’ became a popular, if difficult to define, term. We continue to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement.”

Last year’s USA Rice Sustainability Award went to Dhu Thomson, owner and chair of Delta Plastics. The Arkansas-based company provides a circular system for polypropylene pipe that is first used for irrigation during the growing season and then, at the end of the season, recycled into trash can liners.

Along with the physical inputs, Delta Plastics also provides free access and technical support for PipePlanner, a software used to precisely calculate irrigation water use with polypropylene pipe. Use of the Pipe Planner software has saved more than 100 billion gallons of water since it was released in 2014.

The award committee is accepting nominations through Oct. 30. The winner will be announced in December.

Go here for more information and an application form.

This article first appeared in USA Rice’s “The Daily.”