Brian King, a rice merchant who works as controller for Erwin-Keith Inc., has been elected to a two-year term as chairman of the USA Rice Federation. He succeeds fellow Arkansan Dow Brantley, rice producer from England, Ark.
King, a native of Marked Tree, Ark., has more than 23 years of rice and grain marketing experience and has served in a number of roles with the rice industry, including as a member of the Biotechnology Task Force. He is an alumni of the Rice Leadership Program.
Charley Mathews, a California rice farmer and another graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program, was elected chairman of The Rice Foundation, replacing Todd Burich with ADM Rice Inc. in Tarrytown, N.Y. Both were elected at their organizations’ annual meetings in Dallas last week.
“Brian is going to make a great chairman,” said Brantley. “He is well versed in U.S. rice industry issues having served on the board of the USA Rice Merchants’ Association and as current chair of the USA Rice Western Hemisphere Subcommittee.”
“Dow Brantley guided us through some challenging times and logged countless miles as an ambassador for our industry,” said King. “Many times he opened his farm and home up to visitors from Canada, Iraq, and most recently let the P.F. Chang's folks come film a commercial at his farm.
“And while he is stepping down as USA Rice Chairman, Dow will continue to serve on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee providing advice to the government on trade policy matters.”
“This is an exciting time for the American rice industry with many challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Betsy Ward, president and CEO of USA Rice. “I look forward to working with Chairman-elect King as we tackle these issues on behalf of the entire U.S. industry.”
Jim Calhoon, General Manager for Erwin-Keith, Inc. commented, “Brian has made an immediate impact with Erwin-Keith. His commitment to the industry, work ethic, and initiative will be great assets as he assumes his new leadership role with the USA Rice Federation.”
Todd Burich also saluted his successor on The Rice Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, which serves as the research and education program arm for the rice industry.
“The breadth of work The Rice Foundation has been responsible for is astounding,” said Burich. “Foundation-funded projects like the ongoing food safety research, a comprehensive analysis of rice consumption in the U.S. diet focusing on health and nutrition benefits, and the initial Ducks Unlimited study that reported a $3.5 billion cost for replacing rice lands with natural wetland habitat have exceeded expectations.
“The Foundation and the industry are in good hands with Charley, and I know he'll continue to identify more projects with far-reaching industry benefits.”
For more information, visit https://usarice.com/.