Registration for the USA Rice Outlook Conference, the largest rice-specific event in North America, opened this week. USA Rice has added to the conference this year to ensure the event’s tagline, “If Rice is Your Business, This is Your Meeting,” holds true.
“In addition to general sessions with powerful speakers, we will feature more than 15 hours of educational programming over the three days,” said Betsy Ward, USA Rice president and CEO. “From farm shop design to setting up an eCommerce presence and from estate planning to the latest technology, this conference is truly a not-to-be-missed event.”
For the first time, USA Rice is offering member discounts for conference registration. All U.S. rice farmers are eligible to register at the member rate, as are employees of companies that are members of one of the following: USA Rice Enterprise Partners, USA Rice Millers’ Association, USA Rice Merchants’ Association and/or The Rice Foundation.
USA Rice is also capitalizing on this year’s location — Little Rock, Arkansas — by offering a special “First Time Attendee” rate of just $99.
“While the Outlook Conference is appropriate for everyone in the rice industry, no matter where you live, the reality is, we’re within driving distance of thousands of people in the rice industry who maybe haven’t attended an Outlook before or aren’t familiar with what USA Rice does for the industry. This special rate should entice them to check us out. They won’t be sorry,” Ward said.
The keynote speaker is Dr. Shimi Kang, a Harvard-trained physician, researcher and neuroscientist who will talk about how stress and anxiety are a public health crisis and what individuals can do about it.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Matthew Lohr has been invited to discuss a wide range of topics during a fireside chat on the first day of the conference.
The Annual Rice Awards, sponsored by Horizon Ag, Rice Farming magazine and USA Rice, will be presented in three categories — Rice Farmer of the Year, Rice Industry Award and Rice Lifetime Achievement Award – at the Awards Luncheon.
Another highlight of the luncheon is the introduction of the new Rice Leadership Class.
The bedrock of the conference, and where it got its name, is in the presentation of state outlook and research reports from research institutions in all six rice-producing states.
The Exhibit Hall is expanded this year. For the first time, USA Rice has moved the educational programming into the hall itself at specially built stages that will increase exposure for exhibitors, while providing attendees with the opportunity to easily move from one session to another.
Attendee, exhibitor and sponsor registration are all open online and with the renewed push to bring in new attendees, the hotel block and Exhibit Hall are expected to fill up quickly.
This year’s Outlook Conference will be held Dec. 8-10 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The conference hotel is the Little Rock Marriott. Early bird registration discounts expire on Nov. 6.
Visit www.usarice.com/outlook to register, read about additional programming, and sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.
USA Rice contributed this article.