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Source: U.S. Rice Federation news release

The Rice Leadership Development Program's Class of 2012-2014 graduated from the prestigious program during a special ceremony at the USA Rice Federation's 2014 Government Affairs Conference this week.

Rice Foundation Chairman Marvin Cochran and USA Rice Chairman Mark Denman presided over the ceremony, congratulating the graduates and thanking program sponsors, John Deere, RiceTec, Inc,, and American Commodity Company.

The class is made up of five rice producers: Brian Barrett, Arbuckle, CA; Rance Daniels, Hornersville, MO; Timothy Gertson, Lissie, TX; Noble Guedon, Natchez, MS; Clint Roth, Stuttgart, AR; and two industry representatives: Dr. Natalie Hummel, Bayer CropScience, Research Triangle Park, NC; and Brice Lauppe, Farmers' Rice Cooperative, Roseville, CA.

The class went right to work representing the rice industry during the conference, participating in multiple meetings with Members of Congress, House and Senate Agriculture Committee staff, and USDA personnel.

The class met with officials at the American Bankers Association to discuss the agricultural credit market, and toured the USDA's satellite weather center. They also met with Ambassador José R. Cabañas Rodríguez of the Cuban Interest Section and his staff to discuss the potential for rice trade between the two countries.

The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills. The leadership program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec Inc., and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and managed by the USA Rice Federation.

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