MEMPHIS, Tennessee – September 20, 2016 – Visitors to the BassPro Shops at the Memphis Pyramid can learn more about U.S. grown rice and its importance to waterfowl starting this week. In celebration of National Rice Month, the Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center has unveiled a new display section focused on the importance of rice agriculture to wintering waterfowl across the country.
"The Waterfowling Heritage Center plays a large part in honoring our hunting and conservation heritage, while also educating Bass Pro Shops guests about DU's vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever," said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. "With this new section of the exhibit, about 400,000 visitors each year will also learn about the importance of rice agriculture to waterfowl, people and other wildlife.
Half the world's population depends on rice for nourishment, and the managed wetlands provided by working ricelands ensure critical habitat for hundreds of species, many of them threatened or endangered.
The Waterfowling Heritage Center offers exhibits and experiences for visitors of all ages,including displays featuring waterfowling collectibles, vintage firearms and original art.
Key features of the rice and ducks display include a video, educational panels, a model rice farm and information about the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership.
Rice Stewardship efforts have produced tremendous returns on investment for rice producers and conservation partners, especially through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's Regional Conservation Partnership Project.
"The annual USA Rice Outlook Conference will bring nearly 900 members of the U.S. rice industry to Memphis in December," said USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward. "We welcome and encourage all of our attendees to see the Waterfowling Heritage Center while they're here to better appreciate the intrinsic link between waterfowl and working rice lands and see the great work Ducks Unlimited is doing with our industry."
Rice Stewardship funders include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Walmart Foundation, the Mosaic Company Foundation, Chevron U.S.A., Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, RiceTec, BASF, American Rice, Inc. – Riviana Foods, Inc., Wells Fargo, Farmers Rice Milling Company, Horizon Ag, Turner's Creek & Bombay Hook Farms, MacDon Industries and Ducks Unlimited major sponsors.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.