U.S. House establishes congressional Rice Caucus

Bipartisan group has representatives from all rice-growing states

By Reece Langley
VP Government Affairs
USA Rice Federation

Representative Rick Crawford (RAR) said it best, “Rice is a unique industry, which faces its own set of challenges and opportunities. With a new Farm Bill being written next year, I wanted to gather together representatives from other rice-producing districts to ensure the long-term viability of rice growing in America.”

The House Rice Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Crawford and Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) is the U.S. rice industry’s latest partner as the producers, millers, merchants and allied industry members join together to promote sound public policy. This bipartisan group is currently comprised of 18 representatives from each of the rice-growing states.

Membership Expected To Expand

At the first meeting of the Rice Caucus in October, Congressman Crawford acknowledged the rice industry’s important role in his home state of Arkansas and the industry’s economic contributions throughout the United States, including supporting more than 128,000 jobs. The congressman thanked members of the rice industry who were in attendance at the event, as well as the USA Rice Federation.

The USA Rice Federation has worked and will continue to work with the Rice Caucus to help expand its membership to ensure that rice-producing areas, as well as areas that are home to allied industry members, are well represented.

Educating Lawmakers A Priority

As policy decisions are being made in Washington, congressional caucuses will only become more important in helping lawmakers educate their colleagues about key issues. The USA Rice Federation looks forward to coordinating with the caucus on more meetings about rice industry issues and spreading awareness of the Rice Caucus.

As the next Farm Bill is written, the Rice Caucus has the opportunity to play an important role as the legislation is being crafted. Because the members of the caucus recognize the important role of the rice industry in their districts, they will have the unique opportunity to work with the House Agriculture Committee to ensure that rice industry priorities and policies are addressed within the next Farm Bill.

Members of the caucus will also have the opportunity to help address other key issues, such as concern with harmful federal regulations.

The USA Rice Federation looks forward to working with the Rice Caucus as they take the lead on many important rice industry issues. By working together, the Federation and the Rice Caucus have the opportunity to educate other members of Congress on the important economic and environmental contributions of U.S. rice producers, merchants, millers and other allied industry members.

Rice Caucus Members

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR)
Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)
Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA)
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA)
Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-MO)

To learn more, visit www.usarice.com.

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