The 2014 rice production season has come to a close, while hunting season, the holidays and planning for 2015 are in full swing. An important part of the planning process for next year is attending winter meetings to stay apprised of industry issues, new products and variety/hybrid offerings, and Farm Bill decisions that will affect your operation for the next few years.
To kick things off, the USA Rice Outlook Conference will be held in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 7-9. Speakers for the Monday sessions include Jim Wiesemeyer, Senior Vice President, Washington Bureau; and Vernon Crowder, Senior Vice President and Senior Analyst, Rabobank;
Dr. Joe Outlaw, Texas A&M, will discuss the Farm Bill Decision Aid. A group of Farm Bill panelists will be on the program to talk further about the new Farm Bill. Another group of panelists will analyze conservation opportunities available to producers in the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Nathan Childs, Senior Domestic and International Rice Market Analyst, USDA, will provide a market update, and Milo Hamilton, President and Founder of Firstgrain and author of When Rice Shakes the World, will also share his perspective on our current markets.
State Outlook and Research Reports, along with a National Rice Research Report, will be featured at the Conference.
And please join us for the Annual Rice Awards Luncheon on Monday at noon where the recipients of the 2014 Rice Awards will be honored and other important award winners and the new Rice Leadership Development Class will be announced.
On Tuesday, don’t miss an important presentation by Mario Solorzano, President, Central American Rice Federation (FECARRROZ). Solorzano will be joined by a special panel of FECARROZ representatives.
Michael Klein, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, USA Rice Federation, will speak about Putting Message Research to Work; and Robert Cummings, Chief Operating Officer, USA Rice Federation, will wrap up the meeting with a discussion of International Trade.
Another important meeting for the rice industry – The Cotton & Rice Conference – will take place Jan. 14-16 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge, La. I will reveal more details about that meeting in my next blog. In addition to these two big meetings, numerous local farmer meetings will be hosted by university Extension personnel and industry representatives. I will tweet these announcements as I receive them.
Yes, ‘tis the season to be jolly and enjoy the holidays and other extracurricular activities, while still taking time to attend meetings to help you prepare for next year’s rice-growing season. Take advantage of this good mix of business and pleasure during the winter months to revitalize yourself in order to bring your best and most productive game in 2015!