2015 from the Louisiana Rice Research Board

Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce

Members of the Rice Research Board

Your Rice Research Board continues to function well. The new legislation passed last spring, which makes the checkoff mandatory with no referendum but with a refund provision, is in effect. The funds are being collected and distributed to the board monthly. We will report at the annual field day the percentage of refunds to those individuals who wish not to participate in funding research.

Our legal challenges still exist, and we will work through them as the courts allow. But there are also positive things happening that need to be highlighted.

As is done each year, the budget has been set. For 2015, your board has contracted with the LSU AgCenter for projects amounting to $1,507,147. This amount is derived by estimating 2014 crop production multiplied by the 5-cent checkoff and allowing for a portion that may be uncollectible.

We are all aware of the revenue (called intellectual property royalties) the LSU system receives for Clearfield technology. That revenue is defined by law. But your board has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the AgCenter whereby Chancellor/Vice President Bill Richardson has agreed to allow the Research Board to participate in the decision on how up to $250,000 of funds to his office and the Rice Station are spent.

Your board has recently signed the MOA whereby $143,000 of the royalty funds would be designated to a new rice breeder position to work under Dr. Steve Linscombe, $80,000 would be used to purchase a gas chromatograph, which measures greenhouse gasses and aroma in breeding efforts, and the balance used for overall station support.

Your board has also recently determined how the funds generated by the Colombia Tariff Rate Quota Auctions be designated. Of the $2.4 million currently received, we have determined that $1.5 million be used as a reserve fund for the board’s activities. This is approximately the amount the board receives each year in checkoff revenue. This means that our reserve fund would match our one-year expenditures. Previously, the board operated under a self-imposed policy of holding 25 percent of previous years’ expenditures in reserve. This will ensure a built-in cushion for scientists who work on our projects.

Your board also has begun the process to provide the initial funds for an Endowed Research Chair with the LSU AgCenter. The board has allocated $600,000 using Colombia TRQ funds. The Louisiana Board of Regents will supplement this amount with another $400,000 in state funds to attain the minimum $1 million investment for the Chair. This foundation account will exist in perpetuity and your board has designated that revenue it generates will be designated for the new Rice Chair.

Your board has also agreed to use remaining Colombia TRQ funds for the establishment of a new irrigation well on the Rice Station and the purchase of much needed equipment to replace two tractors that need to be retired.

As you can see, while checkoff funds go to annual projects whose findings quickly benefit the rice industry, your board is also interested in ensuring the sustainability of rice research for the long term. We are grateful that funds are available.

Now, if we could only do something with the price of rice! Jackie Loewer, Chairman December 2014

Paul “Jackie” Loewer Jr.
Chairman (LA Rice Growers)
4362 White Oak Highway
Branch, LA 70516
(337) 788-0665 home/office
(337) 581-5179 cell
(337) 788-4076 fax
Richard B. Fontenot
Secretary/Treasurer (LA Farm Bureau) 3535 Vidrine Road
Ville Platte, LA 70586 richardbfontenot@gmail.com
(337) 363-0759 home (
337) 831-1245 cell
Clarence A. Berken
Vice Chairman (LA Rice Growers) 9201 Highway 380
Lake Arthur, LA 70549 caberken@centurytel.net
(337) 587-2474 home
(337) 523-4208 cell
Donald J. Berken
(LA Farm Bureau)
616 South Joseph Street
 Welsh, LA 70591 donaldberken@hotmail.com
(337) 734-2403 home
(337) 526-3777 cell
Richard Damian Bollich
(LA Rice Growers)
15787 Sunshine Road
 Jones, LA 71250
(318) 823-2762 home
(318) 282-4627 cell
Jude Doise
(LA Independent Rice Producers Assn.)
30010 Bornsdall Road
 Elton, LA 70532 judedoise@yahoo.com
(337) 246-0004 cell
Michael Fruge
(LA Rice Growers)
1230 B&B Avenue
Eunice, LA 70535 mfruge@horizonseed.com
(337) 457-5376 home
(832) 260-6193 cell
(337) 457-9637 fax
Dane L. Hebert
(LA Farm Bureau)
5569 Alfred Road
 Maurice, LA 70555 dnlabear@yahoo.com
(337) 893-9331 home
(337) 523-2598 cell
Phillip Lamartiniere
(LA Rice Growers)
386 Hwy. 1194
Marksville, LA 71351 ricefarm@bellsouth.net
(318) 253-5969 home
(318) 201-1132 cell
Samuel J. Noel
(LA Farm Bureau)
14414 Sammy Road
 Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 643-1256 home
(337) 230-8500 cell
(337) 643-3512
Ronald J. Sonnier
(LA Farm Bureau)
1238 Green Oak Road
 Kinder, LA 70648 ronnie.kay@centurytel.net
(337) 738-2780 home
(337) 375-1990 cell
Mike Strain
(Legislative Act)
5825 Florida Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70806 drstrain@ldaf.state.la.us
(225) 922-1234 work

Jason A. Waller
(Amer. Rice Growers)
P. O. Box 152 118
Tilbury Street
Mer Rouge, LA 71261 jasonwallerfarms@yahoo.com
(318) 282-9190 cell
Brian T. Wild
(Amer. Rice Growers)
306 Rhorer Street
Welsh, LA 70591
(337) 247-4455 cell
(337) 587-2260 fax

Frederick C. Zaunbrecher
(LA Rice Growers)
6909 Cameron Street
Duson, LA 70529
(337) 873-0322 home
(337) 278-9659 cell

This article was published in the 2015 Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report.


3/3/2015 10:51:41 PM
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