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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • California Rice Leaders Explore State’s Rice Industry

  • Session three of the Rice Leadership Development Program recently concluded, providing participants with an overview of rice marketing and production practices, crop diversity, conservation and environmental issues, and a close-up look at the state’s rice harvest.
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  • Session three of the Rice Leadership Development Program recently concluded, providing participants with an overview of rice marketing and production practices, crop diversity, conservation and environmental issues, and a close-up look at the state’s rice harvest. Rice producer Marc Breckenridge of Durham and industry-related member Brendan O’Donnell of Sacramento participated.
    Class members met with key officials at Farmers’ Rice Cooperative, the California Rice Commission and Louie Brown with Kahn, Soares & Conway. Participants also learned about rice marketing activities, water management, social media tools, and conservation practices.
    “I was excited to show my class members the diversity in agriculture we have in California that is so different than the south,” Breckenridge said.
    At the Glenn Colusa Irrigation District, participants observed a fish screen project that protects young Chinook juvenile salmon and provides water for rice growers. They also viewed the Oroville Dam, Lake Shasta, and the Salinas Valley water systems.
    Nicole Van Vleck, Co-Chair, USA Rice Federation Marketability and Competitiveness Task Force spoke about conservation practices at Montna Farms and USA Rice Federation Asia, Turkey Promotion Subcommittee Chairman Chris Crutchfield discussed marketing California medium-grain rice around the world and Michael Rue, Chairman, Asia Trade Policy Committee discussed trade issues around the world.
    Class members observed rice harvesting on the ranches of Leo LaGrande and Montna Farms before traveling to Lundberg Family Farms to observe their operation. At Sun Valley Rice Company the class observed the processing of brown spouted rice. And in Biggs, CA, Dr. Kent McKenzie, director of the California Rice Research Station gave an update on the state’s research efforts.
    In addition to Breckenridge, rice producer members are Galen Franz of Victoria, TX; Mark Pousson of Welsh, LA; Scott Gairhan of Trumann, AR and Paul Zaunbrecher of Rayne, LA.. In addition to O’Donnell, the other industry-related member is Park Eldridge with Lehman Elevator of Gillett, AR.
    John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc. and American Commodity Company sponsor the Rice Leadership Development Program through a grant to the Rice Foundation, and the USA Rice Federation administers it.
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