Feb 28, 2014 5:35 PM by Dave Fields
Washington, DC - Rayville rice producer John Owen presented Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., R-La., with the USA Rice Federation's first "Friend of the U.S. Rice Industry Award".
"As a society we're growing increasingly detached from the land, so having Members of Congress who understand farm issues is very important," said Owen. "Congressman Boustany is a strong advocate for our industry, was instrumental in helping get the Farm Bill through Congress, and is a true friend of the U.S. rice industry. We're grateful for his support."
Boustany issued a statement accepting the award.
"Due to South Louisiana's robust agricultural community, commodities like rice are a part of our way of life. This year, I advocated for the needs of growers and producers across South Louisiana by urging my colleagues to pass a much-needed Farm Bill. I am extremely honored and sincerely appreciate the recognition from the USA Rice Federation for this award. I fully recognize the imprint our region makes on the rest of the world by providing it with goods grown and made in South Louisiana."
Betsy Ward, President & CEO of the USA Rice Federation, echoed Owen's appreciation for the congressman.
"The 2014 Farm Bill was a long time coming, and navigating the complex legislation and negotiations was difficult," said . "Whether the issue is farm policy or trade, Congressman Boustany is a vital ally for our industry and we appreciate and value our relationship."
Each year, U.S. farmers produce about 10 million tons of rice, half of which is exported. Meanwhile, 85% of the rice consumed in this country is grown here. The industry supports more than 125,000 U.S. jobs and contributes more than $34 billion to the economy.