John Owen from Richland Parish, Chairman of the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board, says promoting the US and Louisiana rice industry has proven very beneficial to producers.
“The rice promotion check off program helped get fortified rice approved for us in US food aid programs, which are huge for Louisiana and are expected to grow with advances in rice fortification,” says Owen.
Check-offs also assisted in opening new crucial markets for Louisiana rice in places such as China and Cuba, “two potentially huge markets for us,” according to Owen.
And closer to home, the promotion programs have helped get Louisiana rice in the nation’s $12 billion school lunch program and USDA’s WIC program. There were five billion school lunches served across the country last year.
“And we partner with and support the School Nutrition Association and have very close ties with the chapters here in Louisiana, including working on extra donations for them as a result of the terrible flooding we all experienced this summer,” said Owen.