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Rice farmers: Come meet the market in Houston

After several years of being held in Central and South America, the Rice Market & Technology Convention is returning to the U.S. The annual conference, which is organized by the U.S. Rice Producers Association, will be held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the Galleria area of Houston.  

It wasn’t that long ago U.S. farmers could concentrate on growing their crops and leave the marketing to someone else. With more than half of the U.S. crop exported now, rice growers no longer have that luxury.

Because of that, gaining an understanding of the players to compete in this international marketplace is becoming more important each year. Growers will have an opportunity to do that during the Rice Market & Technology Convention in Houston, May 31-June 2.

After several years of being held in Central and South America, the convention is returning to the U.S. The annual conference, which is organized by the U.S. Rice Producers Association, will be held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the Galleria area of Houston. Several other rice-centered events will be held in conjunction with the RMTC.

“The program and planned activities give U.S. rice farmers the opportunity to meet the buyers of rough and milled rice,” says Dwight Roberts, president and CEO of USRPA. “Meeting and networking is of great value, but the program is equally impressive.” 

Roberts said representatives of more than 130 rice-related businesses from over 30 countries have already registered and more are signing up for the convention. 

“This is a chance for growers to hear Robert Zeigler, an internationally respected plant pathologist who served many years as the director general of the largest rice research facility in the world,” says Roberts.

“You can also listen to Rakesh Sodhia, managing director of Fortuna International Ltd from Bangkok, Thailand. His company markets 8 million tons of commodities per year worldwide. See what he has to say about China and India and their future impact on the US rice market.”

Other speakers will include:

  • USDA Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse, who will address the future of agricultural politics in the U.S.
  • Argentina’s Alberto Livore, who will discuss his successful rice breeding program and Jorge Vara, minister of agriculture for Corrientes, who will discuss quality issues driving their export markets. 
  • Marco Antonio dos Santos, an agricultural meteorologist from Brazil, who will talk about world weather patterns and its impact on rice farmers. 
  • Luis Gasco, president of the Peruvian Rice Millers Association and the owner of Valle Norte Rice Milling Company, who will discuss Peruvian consumers’ quality demands.
  • Jeffrey Fajardo from the Colombian Rice Millers, who will present on the economy and structure of the Colombian market. Both Colombia and Peru have Free Trade Agreements with the United States but represent two very different situations.

“With Cuba in the news so much we are pleased to announce the presence of Miguel Velez Mederos, the first secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C.,” said Roberts “He will discuss the new stage of bilateral relations between Cuba and the U.S. and the opportunities for agribusiness.”

Other presenters will include representatives of Crop Protection Services, RiceTec, Horizon Ag, Aceituno, CLAAS, Induhorst, FrigorTec and Zaccaria milling equipment for farmers. Other individuals involved in the meeting are Steve Linscombe, rice breeder for the LSU AgCenter; Arkansas rice farmer Mark Isbell, Alice Gomez, Cornerstone Government Affairs, Washington D.C.; Dennis DeLaughter, Vantage RM Market Watch; and Thomas Wynn, Costal Rice & Futures.

Mega-Dryers is hosting a one day Post-Harvest Workshop prior to the conference while FECARROZ, the Central American Rice Federation, the largest market for long grain U.S. rice after Mexico, will be having their board meeting in conjunction with the RMTC.

To learn more about the convention and discounts for farmers, visit www.ricemtconvention.com or call the US Rice Producers Association at 713-974-7423.

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