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.