USRPA Hosts Walmart Nicaragua

October 13, 2023
From left to right: Chris Lee, President, Black River Commodities; Dwight Roberts, USRPA Advisor; Harvey Mendoza, Grain Purchasing Manager, Walmart Nicaragua; Mollie Buckler, USRPA Chief Operating Officer; and Roger Gilmore, General Manager, Black River Commodities.Last week, US Rice Producers Association hosted a reverse trade mission for Walmart Nicaragua. The week-long trip through rice country included stops in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. Harvey Mendoza, Grain Purchasing Manager for Costa Rica and Nicaragua, represented the company on the trip.
The trip gave Mendoza an in-depth look at every facet of the U.S. rice industry, from farm to export, with an emphasis on varieties and logistics that might fit the company’s needs. Texas visits at Rice Belt Warehouse, Nutrien, RiceTec, and East Bernard Rice Marketing primarily focused on examining various varieties and taste testing at every nearly every stop. In Louisiana, the group toured the brand-new South Louisiana Rice Mill and an discussed the South Louisiana Rail Facility’s capabilities. In Arkansas, the group visited with Poinsett Rice and Grain and Black River Commodities. Finally, in Missouri, the group visited Inland Cape Rice, another relatively new mill; Wheeler Farms, where they looked at on-farm storage and graded a sample; and Castor River Farms, where they discussed export possibilities.
The reverse trade mission was made possible by USDA Market Access Program funding.
“The trade mission is the perfect example of the public/private partnerships made possible by MAP funding,” Marcela Garcia, USRPA President & CEO, said. “This kind of trip is what makes a possible purchase go from an idea to reality. We’re happy to be the partner who helps make it happen.”
Learn more about USDA’s Market Access Program here.

During a taste test, Harvey Mendoza visits with Dr. Paola Andrea Mosquera, Senior Breeder at Nutrien.

Harvey Mendoza and Johnny Hunter, Founder of Castor River Farms near Dexter, MO.

Harvey meets with Mark Pousson at the South Louisiana Rail Facility and Mill in Lacassine, LA.

A variety overview with Jay Davis of East Bernard Rice Marketing and USRPA Board Member Tommy Turner in East Bernard, TX.
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