COVID-19 Causes Rice Market & Technology Convention Postponement

After closely monitoring the developments over the past several weeks, the 2020 Rice Market & Technology Convention scheduled to take place in Panama, May 19-21 has been postponed due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. The new dates will not be announced until conditions are safe for everyone at home and abroad.

We are all learning what is really “essential” and certainly rice is on that list as evidenced by the increased demand. This makes our international convention even more important. Rice farmers, rice millers and the allied businesses from throughout the world are essential in feeding our communities worldwide.

We thank you for your support and participation over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your families, loved ones and citizens during this crisis. Working together, the world will defeat this virus.

We will continue to monitor progress and keep you informed as to potential new dates. The USRPA office will remain closed for the foreseeable future but staff continues to work from home. Please let us hear from you – you can send your comments and/or questions directly to us at

Sincerely Yours,

US Rice Producers Association

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Augusto Valderrama

Minister Augusto Valderrama

Keynote Speaker: Panama's Minister of Agriculture

No one knows more about rice than Panama! Afterall with an annual per capita consumption of 150 pounds, rice is central to the economy and culture of this beautiful country. As a result, there is no one better to open the conference than the Distinguished Minister of Agriculture, Augusto Valderrama who serves Panama as the Head of the Ministry of Agricultural Development. An economist and business administrator, Lic. Valderrama has been the Vice President & General Manager of the Melo Group’s food division while prior to being appointed as the Agriculture Minister he held the office of Minister of the Presidency. He has also served in leadership positions of the Finance and Treasury Ministry and General Secretary of the Ministry of Labor.

Dossier for James Garriss

James Garriss

Business Climate: It’s Usually Doesn’t Mean the Weather

When investors talk about the “business climate,” they usually don’t mean the weather. But lately, weather patterns across the globe have become more volatile, more extreme, and less predictable. And every business- from financial services to heavy machinery and certainly agriculture- is facing new weather-driven challenges, risks and costs. The political overtones of “global warming” serve mainly to confuse the issue, and make it harder for us to put weather change into the sort of context that can help us understand the impact on business and industry. Yet many of the changes in weather patterns are both predictable and cyclical; which means that their impact on our investments and our investment strategies are not random. James J. Garriss is the Director of Research and Development for Browning Media LLC, a multigenerational climatological consulting company with clients all over the world. His presentations describe the natural factors that influence climate on a regional, national and global basis, using current climatic activity affecting today’s weather and use that information to explain what the next 3 to 6 months will look like. He then explains the effect that the climate’s impact will have on the company or industry represented. CLSA-U expert James Gariss is a “weather historian” who brings complex global patterns to a level where we can all understand.

Steve Linscombe

Steve Linscombe

New Technologies Accelerate Delivery of Improved Rice Varieties for the Americas

Come hear Dr. Steve Linscombe present how newer technologies will facilitate and accelerate the delivery of new and improved rice varieties throughout the Americas. He will first explore how we have gotten to where we are in rice breeding by providing a historical perspective. He will discuss how after many years of expectation, breeders are now fully implementing Marker Assisted Selection into conventional rice breeding programs. This is becoming more commonplace because of the long term research that has provided the database for implementation as well as because the cost of using this technology is finally getting to a reason level for incorporation into programs. Additionally, he will discuss the potential for the use of CRISPR technology in rice breeding: discussing both the promises this technology brings as well as the controversies of its implementation. A well-known rice breeder for 35 years at Louisiana State University and today the Executive Director of the Rice Foundation, Dr. Linscombe has been credited with the development of numerous popular rice varieties in the United States.


Dennis DeLaughter

Keynote: Embracing Change: Expecting the Unexpected
Yamila Saiz

Yamila Saiz

Expectations for Rice Farming & Milling in the Mercosur

Successful rice production in the combined countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay has allowed the region to become an increasingly important supplier for numerous export markets. That does not mean it’s easy. Every country has its own unique challenges whether with market access, national politics and government support, shipping logistics, infrastructure issues and trying to keep production costs reasonable. Yamila Saiz, President of CONMASUR, the Confederation of Rice Mills of Mercosur consisting of members from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay who both farm and mill rice will share her experience from years involved in the international rice trade. With a degree in international business, Yamila understands marketing rice produced and milled in the Mercosur countries. This includes negotiations, logistics and management of the administrative chain. She is currently the Business Manager for IBERA MERCANTIL SA, an Argentine rice company that produces and mills 28,000 acres of rice in the Corrientes province, marketing 100% of the production in the international market.

Photo © Tony Powell. Cornerstone III. February 5, 2018

Alice Gomez

Coming Soon

Thomas Wynn, PhD

Coming Soon
Stuart Hoetger

Stuart Hoetger

Coming Soon

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration Desk Open

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration Desk Open

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

RMTC 2020 PROGRAM - Details Coming Soon...

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Registration/Help Desk Open

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

RMTC 2020 PROGRAM: Coming Soon...

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Reception at the Panama Canal

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