From the 2014 Louisiana Rice Research Board

Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce  |  1/17/2014 9:33:56 PM

Jackie Loewer, Chairman

Photo By: LSU AgCenter

Louisiana Rice Research Board members are, front row, left to right, Brian Wild, of Welsh; Bobby Miller, Eunice; Clarence Berken, Lake Arthur; Jackie Loewer, Branch (chairman); Richard Fontenot, Vidrine; back row, from left, Johnny Hensgens, Lake Charles; Sammy Noel, Abbeville; Dane Hebert, Maurice; Ronald Sonnier, Kinder; Fred Zaunbrecher, Duson; Donald Berken, Welsh; and Damian Bollich, Jones. Jason Waller, of Mer Rouge, is not pictured here.

Photo By:

 From my end of the levee

There are several ways to determine value. One way that we use almost unconsciously is in the marketplace -- buying and selling of things.

Anytime we buy something, we determine the product is worth more than the money we use to pay for it. We may think it is too expensive, but need, time, place, quality, quantity and availability all come into play. At the end of the transaction, if completed, the product is worth the money spent.

That is not unlike our rice research needs. We would rather have them paid for by someone else, but it is the rice industry that needs them, and it is the rice industry that must pay for them.

There is also another way to determine value – usually regarding beliefs, causes, regulations, laws or agreements. Our American system of government is based on this way, and that is democracy. If the majority of people wants it and thinks it has value, or adds value, then that is the law or rule or agreement of the land.

Our nation is the pride of the world not only because our nation has made great decisions based on democracy, but those within the democracy that are in the minority demonstrate a sense of acceptance and move on. When a candidate in a political race loses, he or she doesn’t gather an army to defeat the victorious opponent. That candidate accepts the will of the people and lives to stress his or her views another day in a democratic fashion.

The rice industry values rice research. Year after year, time after time, rice producers have demonstrated this in a democratic process, placing value in assessing themselves an amount of money dedicated to rice research. Some think differently, but in America, the majority rules.

With the narrow interpretation of state law by the Louisiana Supreme Court, we no longer enjoy the right of self-determination. Until state legislation can be put in place, there is another way we can show value for rice research. We can voluntarily prescribe that our funds be deducted from the sale of our rice and have that dedicated to rice research. The funds would continue to be collected by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and distributed for research.

We can make it happen, but like planting a field of rice, we have to actually go out and do it. John Adams once wrote, "There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide." Let’s not prove him right on our watch!

Jackie Loewer, Chairman
December 2013

Rice Research Board Members

Paul "Jackie" Loewer Jr.
(Louisiana Rice Growers)
4362 White Oak Highway
Branch, LA 70516
337-788-0665 home
office 337-581-5179 cell

Clarence A. Berken
Vice Chair
(Louisiana Rice Growers)
9201 Highway 380
Lake Arthur, LA 70549
337-587-2474 home
337-523-4208 cell

Richard Fontenot
(Louisiana Farm Bureau)
3465 Vidrine Road
Ville Platte, LA 70586
337-363-0759 home
337-831-1245 cell

Donald J. Berken
(Louisiana Farm Bureau)
616 South Joseph St.
Welsh, LA 70591
337-734-2403 home
337-526-3777 cell

Damian Bollich
(Louisiana Rice Growers)
1587 Sunshine Road
Jones, LA 71250
Dane L. Hebert
(Louisiana Farm Bureau)
5569 Alfred Road
Maurice, LA 70555
337-893-9331 home
337-523-2598 cell

Johnny Hensgens Jr.
(Louisiana Rice Growers)
3765 East Tank Farm Road
Lake Charles, LA 70607
337-477-4073 home
337-421-6351 office
337-304-2173 cell

Robert H. Miller
(Louisiana Farm Bureau)
P.O. Box 64
Eunice, LA 70535
337-457-4385 home
337-305-1800 cell
337-432-5581 office

Samuel J. Noel
(Louisiana Farm Bureau)
14414 Sammy Road
Abbeville, LA 70510
337-643-1256 home
337-230-8500 cell
Ronnie Sonnier
(Louisiana Farm Bureau)
1238 Green Oak Road
Kinder, LA 70648
337-738-2780 home
337-375-1990 cell

Jason Waller
(American Rice Growers)
P O Box 152
Mer Rouge, LA 71261
318-282-9190 cell

Brian Wild
(American Rice Growers)
357 Basswood Road
Lake Charles, LA 70611
337-247-4455 cell

Frederick C. Zaunbrecher
(Louisiana Rice Growers)
6909 Cameron St.
Duson, LA 70529
337-873-0322 home

(This article was published in the 2014 Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report.)

Go to 2014 Report

Go to 2013 Report

PDF Version 2014 Report

Please click on the links above to go to the 2014 report home page, to go to the 2013 report, and to go to the PDF version of the 2014 report.

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