Stoesser Scholar in Washington by Gayla Rose

February 23, 2024

The US Rice Producers Association (USRPA) amplifies farmers' voices, while the Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship champions the future of agriculture. The USRPA's commitment to nurturing the next generation of agriculture is commendable, ensuring the longevity of America's rice industry in both national and international markets.

Being awarded the Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship stands as my proudest achievement and greatest honor thus far. To me, it was not just a scholarship but a pivotal moment that transformed my life. The shift from my previous goals and aspirations to the current ones stems from my time as a scholar with the USRPA, leading me onto a new career path and igniting a fervor for advocating for the rice industry's future.

I may be partial, but I hold firm that the U.S. rice industry comprises the most resilient, ambitious, and devoted individuals I've encountered. Despite the challenges of farming in today's economy, rice farmers persist in nourishing our nation amidst adversity. Beyond farming, many have remarkable stories of accomplishments outside the agricultural realm, from establishing seed companies to holding leadership roles in various organizations, exemplifying the inspirational spirit of USRPA farmers.

My time in Washington exceeded my expectations, transcending a mere advocacy visit to Capitol Hill. It provided invaluable insights not only into rice industry challenges but also the unwavering dedication of those safeguarding its future. As a part of the upcoming generation in agriculture, it is a privilege to be surrounded by farmers who are deeply passionate about their craft and the purpose behind it.

USRPA is extremely proud to have had Gayla on this trip and appreciates all the hard work she has dedicated to advocating for our farmers.

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