Horizon Ag Arkansas Field Day Videos Now Available

Although the Horizon Ag Arkansas Field Days in Stuttgart and Jonesboro were cancelled this year due to Covid-19, you have an opportunity to watch on video what area farmers are saying about top-performing Horizon Ag varieties for the Delta — Clearfield® CLL16, CLL15 and new Provisia® variety PVL03.

The Horizon Ag Arkansas Field Day videos are available at www.horizonseed.com.

“We missed seeing everyone in person at our annual Arkansas field days, but we are excited to bring you up to date on what farmers are experiencing with the Provisia Rice System and the latest, high-yielding Clearfield varieties across this region,” says Dr. Tim Walker, Horizon Ag general manager. “Horizon Ag is proud of our heritage as a partnership brand, and the work we have done with partners like the University of Arkansas has led to several significant variety releases over the last 20 years, including the recent launches of the next generation of Clearfield varieties.”

The videos feature farmers Darren Walker from the Grand Prairie, Jason McGee from Northeast Arkansas and Zack Tanner from the Missouri Bootheel, along with an overview of the current Horizon Ag variety offering from Dr. Walker.

Varieties like CLL15, introduced last year, and CLL16, released commercially this season, have dramatically raised the bar for Clearfield variety performance, providing farmers outstanding yield potential, excellent milling characteristics, an industry-leading disease package and a better return-on-investment compared to hybrids. Both of these varieties are the result of the work of Arkansas rice breeders to bring forward improved Clearfield lines that provide a significant step-change for rice production in the Delta.

In fact, CLL16 is often described as the “complete package” by rice farmers because of its consistency, yields that rival hybrids, industry-leading blast tolerance and an outstanding milled product. In addition, CLL16 is being observed in row rice situations this year, and reports are extremely positive.

“CLL16 has as much yield potential as any product on the market, including the hybrids,” says Darren Walker, who farms near DeValls Bluff, Arkansas. “So if you have the lowest input costs and the top-end yield potential, why would you not plant CLL16?”

Finally, there is a new Horizon Ag Provisia variety, PVL03, which will be available in good supply for planting in the 2022 season.

“Farmers who have experience planting Provisia rice already know that the system is the real deal,” says Dr. Walker. “There is no better, more proven technology than the Provisia Rice System when it comes to controlling the weedy hybrid rice and hard-to-control grasses threatening production in the South.”

Clearfieldâ and Provisiaâ are registered trademarks of BASF Corporation. ã2021 Horizon Ag LLC All Rights Reserved.

Washington DC Update

On Thursday, the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution on a vote of 65-35.  The continuing resolution will maintain spending at current levels while allowing Congress until Dec 3 to work out an agreement on a broader spending package or enact another Continuing Resolution.  An earlier attempt to pass a Continuing Resolution failed because it included a provision which would waive the debt limit.  The bill also includes $10 billion for agriculture producer assistance for 2020 and 2021 losses.  Senate approval sends the Continuing Resolution to the House where it is expected to be expeditiously passed and sent to the President for approval to avoid a government shutdown at midnight.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.  They include the following:

Linda Delgado was appointed Senior Advisor in the Office of the Secretary.  Delgado most recently served as the Director of Government Affairs at Oxfam America. She has extensive experience in the environmental, agricultural and forestry issues from her time as a Fellow at Ecotrust, a Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, and the Co-Director of the Forest Program and Global Forest Watch. Delgado is returning to USDA, having previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary and a Senior Advisor to the Secretary from 1998 to 2001. She was a legislative assistant in several Congressional offices prior to her time at USDA. She has a Master of Business Administration in International Relations from American University and degrees in International Finance and Psychology from Tufts University.

Marni Karlin was appointed as Senior Advisor for Organic and Emerging Markets.  Karlin joins USDA with two decades of experience in policy and the organic and emerging agricultural markets space – including consulting with stakeholders across the organic sector from producers to certifiers, service as Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel of the Organic Trade Association, and serving as the founding Executive Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Food Safety Coalition. Karlin has several years of government experience, including time as Counsel to Senator Herb Kohl and Counsel for the Antitrust Modernization Commission. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Politics from George Washington University. Karlin also has a certification in global organic leadership from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Organic Leadership Academy.

Marcia Moore will serve as Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat.  Most recently, Moore served as the Chief of Personnel and Administration and a Committee Management Senior Analyst at the Department of Defense. With more than 23 years of federal service, Moore returns to USDA where she previously managed the Agricultural Research Service’s Office of Scientific Quality Review, USDA’s Committee Management Program, and environmental policy analysis. She also worked as the Executive Director of the Food Advisory Committee at the Department of Health and Human Services. Moore has her Bachelor’s in Business Management and Biology from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI, and her Master’s in Science Communication from Johns Hopkins University.

Shawn Campbell was appointed Legislative Analyst in the Office of Congressional Relations.  Campbell joins USDA after over five years of service in the legislative branch. Most recently, he served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. Prior, Campbell worked for Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut as a Legislative Correspondent, Correspondence Assistant, and Staff Assistant. Campbell graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in African American Studies. He is a native of Hartford, Connecticut.

Washington, DC Update

Continuing Resolution 

On Tuesday, the House approved a continuing resolution, on a 220-211 party-line vote, that would extend government funding through December 3 and prevent a government shutdown. The bill also includes a provision to temporarily extend the public debt limit through December 16, 2022, after mid-term elections. 

In addition to extending FY 2021 appropriations, the bill provides an additional $10 billion to cover losses from natural disasters occurring in 2020 and 2021, an extension of the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), and $275 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) to help communities address damages to infrastructure caused by natural disasters. The bill also includes funding to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation for drought response, including $200 million for western drought response activities and $10 million for fire remediation activities and firefighting costs.

Senate Republicans have stated that they would not support the bill, releasing their own version of the continuing resolution shortly after. The Senate Republicans’ version includes the $10 billion for WHIP+, with the provision allowing losses in 2020 and 2021 to be covered, and the $275 million for EWP. The bill does not include an extension of the public debt limit and reinserts $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system that was removed earlier during House consideration to appease House progressives.

Congress must pass a continuing resolution before the end of the fiscal year to prevent a government shutdown on October 1.

Supply Chain Czar

President Biden has appointed former Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari as the Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

The Task Force is working to address supply and demand discrepancies that occur across several sectors of the economy. Envoy Porcari will work closely with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who leads the Task Force, and the National Economic Council to address the persistent congestion at U.S. ports.

Since 2019, shipping disruptions and increased demand have increased the cost of shipping containers between the U.S. and China over 90%. West Coast ports, including the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, have been particularly affected. Envoy Porcari will work with stakeholders to address the increasing backlog and associated delivery delays.
Porcari served as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Transportation during the Obama-Biden administration and was directly involved in overseeing maritime policy and maritime-related competitive programs. 

Volume 18, Issue 37

September 24, 2021

In This Issue:

News Release: USRPA Announces the Creation of the Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship

On Wednesday, the US Rice Producers Association (USRPA) announced the creation of the Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of former USRPA board member Ray Stoesser. Stoesser’s family, in partnership with USRPA, created the scholarship program to celebrate the late farmer’s legacy and support the agriculture leaders of tomorrow. An active US Rice Producers Association board member and a third-generation farmer of more than 50 years, Stoesser was passionate about three things: his faith, his family, and agriculture. While he loved nearly every aspect of his decades-long career as a rice producer, he was particularly passionate about expanding opportunities in agriculture for the next generation.

In addition to receiving a $5000 scholarship to support their academic pursuits, the selected recipient will serve as a student ambassador for USRPA with an expectation of participating in at least two activities during the calendar year, including Field Days, legislative activities, conferences, and more.

“USRPA is thrilled to partner with the Stoesser family to create this opportunity for the agriculture leaders of tomorrow,” Marcela Garcia, President, and CEO of USRPA, said. “These students are our industry’s future and we’re proud to support them.”

Current high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students are eligible to apply. Applicants should have the intent of pursuing a career in an agriculture-related field. The application is now available online at usriceproducers.com/scholarship. Applications are due Wednesday, December 15.

The US Rice Producers Association, representing rice producers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas, is the only national rice producers’ organization comprised by producers, elected by producers, and representing producers in all six rice-producing states.

Volume 18, Issue 36

September 17, 2021

In This Issue:

Ralson Family Farms Marks Historical Moment Selling U.S. Grown Rice to China

Ralston Family Farms's marketing efforts brought encouraging news for the entire U.S. rice industry this week with a historical sale of U.S. grown rice to China. Grace Wang, USRPA's Eastern Hemisphere Director, attended the press release hosted by Ralston Family Farms at Atkins, Arkansas on September 15, 2021.  Arkansas's Governor, Asa Hutchinson, and Agriculture Commissioner, Wes Ward, commemorated the event, commenting positively on the news and emphasizing the importance of the sale not only for the company but also for the state's economy.  

Detail of the release from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture can be found here.

The US Rice Producers Association was the first rice organization to venture into this market, and over the past 20+ years, USRPA has actively engaged with buyers with funding from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service programs. The USDA first awarded USRPA Emerging Market Progam funds in 2007, which were used to launch consumer research and promotional programs, including surveys, rice tastings, and visiting retail stores throughout China. The results of these activities while conducting meetings with government officials and importers ultimately led to the rice protocol established between the two governments, allowing business to take place.  

The US Rice Producers Association actively reached out to Ralston Famy Farms, along with other rice mills to assist them in registering for the government-approved list of mills to export to China. USRPA continues its marketing outreach in China, increasing awareness and building relations with the Chinese rice industry. This year, USRPA is focusing its efforts on a digital marketing campaign in China via social media, e-newsletters, a video blog as well as press coverage to emphasize the many benefits of U.S. rice.

Grace Wang reports that Chinese trade and consumers continue to show growing interest in U.S. rice and this recent sale resonates well with our marketing message that U.S. rice is of high quality, adheres to the highest safety standards, is sustainably grown, and is traceable from farm to table.   Congratulations to Ralston Family Farms!

Washington DC Update

On Monday the House Agriculture Committee approved their approximately $90 billion agriculture-related portion of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.  The agriculture package will be part of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and was approved on a partisan vote of 27-24.  The legislation was approved despite missing approximately $28 billion in conservation spending, which Chairman Scott, D-GA indicated would be added to the reconciliation package before it is considered on the House floor.

The bill was debated for 9 hours the previous Friday and all amendments to the bill were defeated.  Republicans’ opposition focused on the level of spending in the bill and its priorities.  The provisions in the bill are generally intended to address climate change with rural development also included.  The bill will provide the following:

The path forward on the legislation is unclear.  Speaker Pelosi has scheduled the bill to be considered before the end of the month.  Moderate Democrats in the House have expressed concern about the amount of spending in the bill and some of its tax provisions, such as those related to inheritance tax stepped-up basis.  The Ways and Means Committee completed their markup of the bill, and it remains to be seen if their efforts to address the issue were totally successful.  Of course, in the Senate, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has expressed strong opposition to a $3.5 trillion spending bill and has expressed his strong desire to slow the process to determine if past spending bills were successful and how much current spending is needed.


This week President Biden announced several nominations which are of special interest to agriculture.  On the agriculture commodity business side, he nominated the following individuals to serve a Commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission:

Rostin Behnam joined the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in 2017 as a Commissioner, and since January 2021 has served as the Acting Chairman. During his tenure, Behnam has fostered public and private partnerships to ensure that the derivatives markets operate transparently and fairly and innovate responsibly while addressing new and emergent risks. Behnam prioritizes safeguarding customer protections, examining potential systemic market risk, and engaging in public dialog on globally significant issues such as climate-related financial market risk, interest rate benchmark reform, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the financial markets, and the rise of retail participation in emerging markets.

In 2019, Behnam spearheaded the establishment of the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee. He requested the September 2020 report Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System, the first-of-its-kind effort from a U.S. government entity. Behnam previously served as senior counsel to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, practiced law in New York City, and worked at the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General within the Bureau of Securities. Behnam earned an A.B. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law.

 Kristin N. Johnson is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. She works on financial markets risk management law and policy with specialization in the regulation of complex financial products including the origination, distribution, and secondary market trading, clearing, and settlement of securities and derivatives.  She has lectured at law schools throughout the United States and published on financial markets regulation. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, an American Bar Foundation Fellow, and Chair-Elect of the Securities Regulation Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Before joining Emory, Kristin served as an Associate Dean and McGlinchey Stafford Professor of Law at Tulane University Law School.

Prior to her academic appointments, Kristin practiced law firm in New York City advising domestic and international clients on diverse financial transactions. After attending the University of Michigan Law School where she served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review, she clerked for the Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. of the District Court of New Jersey, elevated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a graduate of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Christy Goldsmith Romero is the Special Inspector General for the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).  Ms. Goldsmith Romero was nominated as Special Inspector General by President Barack Obama on February 1, 2012 and confirmed by the United States Senate on March 29, 2012.  In that role, she leads an independent office conducting investigations and audits of federal programs created in response to the financial crisis.  Since 2019, Ms. Goldsmith Romero has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and University of Virginia Law School, teaching courses in securities regulation, cryptocurrency regulation, and federal oversight.

Ms. Goldsmith Romero previously served in various roles at SIGTARP, and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  She served as counsel to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and Chairman Christopher Cox, and as an attorney in the SEC Division of Enforcement.  Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Goldsmith Romero was a litigator at the law firms of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Snell & Wilmer; and Jenner & Block. She also served a federal judicial clerkship. Ms. Goldsmith Romero earned a B.S. in business from Old Dominion University and a J.D. from Brigham Young University Law School.

On the agricultural trade side, President Biden announced that Elaine Trevino, would be the nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United States Trade Representative

Elaine Trevino is the President of the Almond Alliance of California (AAC), a member-based trade association that advocates on regulatory and legislative issues in areas of international trade, food safety, water quality and availability, crop protection, air quality, worker safety, supply chain and feed quality. As the leader of an organization that advocates for California’s leading agricultural export, Elaine understands tariff and nontariff barriers to trade and the importance of maintaining America’s strong trade agreements and global positioning. Elaine has worked on advocating for funding for COVID-19 relief, addressing retaliatory tariffs, climate smart farming, public private partnerships for opening new markets and strengthening existing markets and addressing technical sanitary and phytosanitary barriers. Elaine works at the local and federal levels on addressing port congestion, supply chain disruptions and excessive costs.

Elaine served as a Deputy Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Governor Gray Davis.  She was responsible for the oversight of the international export and trade programs, specialty crop block grant funding, division of marketing services, plant health and pest prevention and the statewide county fair network. Elaine serves on USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC).  Born and raised in the Central Valley of California, Elaine has a long history of community service and has a great respect for agriculture and the value of the industry to the overall economy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Berkeley and attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Elaine and her family currently reside in Sacramento, California.

Alex Clark


Neal Stoesser