January 8 meeting to highlight upcoming legislative session and checkoff programs

Little Rock, Ark. - The Arkansas Rice Council and Arkansas Rice Farmers will hold their annual meeting and trade show Tuesday, January 8 beginning at 8:00 am at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart. 

Emceed by Roby Brock, the event will begin with an update from USA Rice CEO, Betsy Ward. A legislative overview will highlight both state and federal issues including tax exemptions and the Farm Bill. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Cooper will speak to the upcoming regular legislative session. U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologist Drew Westerman will provide analysis on groundwater levels, trends and forecasts for rice-growing regions. In addition to a legislative overview and water outlook, the event will also highlight estate planning and the rice checkoff program.  

"It is our responsibility as growers to educate ourselves on industry issues and this annual meeting provides an ample opportunity to do just that while networking with other producers and industry stakeholders," said Jeff Rutledge, Chairman of the Arkansas Rice Federation. "The recent passage of the Farm Bill and upcoming state legislative session are both topics all farmers should be familiar with, as well as groundwater trends and progress of the checkoff program."

The event will include an industry trade show and conclude with a free catered lunch for registered attendees. 

Online registration is available at www.arkansasrice.org/annualmeeting/ until January 3. The event is sponsored in part by Greenway Equipment.