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Michael Furtman


WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 28, 2023 – The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives introduced resolutions recognizing the 10th anniversary of the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership. This program offers aid to rice producers to help them address water quantity, water quality and wildlife habitat on their land.

"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."

Rice is the world's third largest crop commodity, providing nearly 20% of the calories consumed by humankind every day. Rice is also the most important food resource for North American waterfowl. Rice not collected during harvest is a high-energy food that resists decomposition when flooded, providing critical winter food for migrating waterfowl. Since its inception, the Rice Stewardship Partnership has impacted more than 800,000 acres of rice on over 1,000 farms.

"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 Congressmen Rick Crawford and Mike Thompson for this recognition."


The success of the Rice Stewardship Partnership’s voluntary approach has been the inspiration behind the creation of other programs, like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which was established in the 2014 Farm Bill.

The resolution was introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Boozman and Sen. Alex Padilla (CA) and introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Rick Crawford (AR) and Rep. Mike Thompson (CA).

"The Rice Stewardship Partnership supports critical research and development of innovative techniques and practices to improve production, conservation and sustainability measures. This collaboration between Ducks Unlimited and USA Rice 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 Rep. 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."

For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to Follow DU’s Twitter feed – @DucksUnlimited and @DUConserve – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing wetland and grassland habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has restored or protected more than 16 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science, DU’s projects benefit waterfowl, wildlife and people in all 50 states. DU is growing its mission through a historic $3 billion Conservation For A Continent capital campaign. Learn more at www.ducks.org.

Media Contact:
Parker Williams
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