Arkansas, California Lawmakers Lead Efforts Recognizing Rice Stewardship Partnership Milestone

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov)

Arkansas, California Lawmakers Lead Efforts Recognizing Rice Stewardship Partnership Milestone

9/27/2023 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Representatives Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Rice Stewardship Partnership with the introduction of resolutions in their respective chambers.

“The Rice Stewardship Partnership supports critical research and development of innovative techniques and practices to improve production, conservation and sustainability measures. This collaboration between USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited will help Arkansas rice producers continue to provide a safe, reliable food source to help feed they world and support practices to shape waterfowl habitat so our state continues to be a destination for duck hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts,” Boozman said.  

“As the second-largest rice producing state, California relies on strong conservation partnerships like the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership to address water quality and wildlife habitat on working ricelands,” said Padilla. “I am proud to lead this bipartisan resolution with Senator Boozman and Representatives Thompson and Crawford to celebrate 10 years of conservation planning and collaboration between rice producers, wildlife conservation organizations, and the USDA.”

“During the winter, harvested rice fields are flooded to prevent soil erosion – creating the perfect habitat for migrating ducks who enjoy any leftover grain,” said Crawford. “The Rice Stewardship Partnership demonstrates this strong connection between agriculture and conservation. The work of Ducks Unlimited and USA Rice has helped our rice farmers carry out responsible land management and protect these important ecosystems.”

“10 years ago, our country formed a partnership with Ducks Unlimited to serve as stewards and conservationists of rice lands across our nation,” said Thompson. “Proud to introduce a resolution commemorating this anniversary with Rep. Crawford and Senators Padilla and Boozman. I am focused on ensuring that the over 800,000 acres of rice and rice rotation lands are conserved for future generations of American rice farmers.”

Arkansas and California are two of the country’s leading rice-producing states.

Since 2013, the Rice Stewardship Partnership has beneficially impacted more than 800,000 acres of rice and rice rotation lands on more than 1,000 farms which has led to positive conservation outcomes for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl.

“U.S. rice farms are located primarily throughout the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Texas’ and Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, and California’s Central Valley, which are critical landscapes and habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds,” said Betsy Ward, USA Rice President & CEO. “The work of the Rice Stewardship Partnership is essential, and USA Rice is extremely proud of our partnership with Ducks Unlimited, because as in all things, we’re more effective working together. We look forward to continuing to build on our great conservation and sustainability accomplishments and thank Senators John Boozman and Alex Padilla and Reps. Rick Crawford and Mike Thompson for this recognition.”

“Rice and ducks are a match made in heaven,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “Over the last ten years, the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership has taken the existing collaboration between conservation and agriculture to a new level. Now, it’s a template for other Regional Conservation Partnership Program projects that are mutually beneficial for wildlife and landowners alike. Thank you to USA Rice for such a strong partnership, and we appreciate Sens. Boozman and Padilla and Reps. Crawford and Thompson for recognizing the positive impacts.”

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