Shanti Agro Industries: A Rice Milling Manufacturing companyEarlier this week, Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international, met with the California Rice Commission (CRC) and USA Rice members here to discuss international priorities in the upcoming year. A visit to the American Commodity Company mill led to discussions about the success of U.S. rice in the Japan SBS tenders where the U.S. captured 70 percent of the share on last month’s tender. Moran also met with representatives from Sun Valley Rice, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative, Tamaki Rice, California Family Foods, PGP International, and Associate Rice Marketing Cooperative. Charley Mathews, a farmer from Marysville who chairs The Rice Foundation, invited Moran out to his farm to see the ongoing harvest and talk about this year’s crop. “The recent fires that have ravaged Napa and Sonoma counties did not directly affect our rice crop but high winds that followed the fires, some as much as 40 mph, meant that much of the rice in the area was knocked down,” said Mathews. “We call this “lodging” and, while it hasn’t affected the quality of the rice, it has made harvest a bit more challenging which can be hard on equipment.” “Visiting USA Rice members on their home turf gives me the opportunity to have frank discussions about what’s happening in the fields and what USA Rice can do to help promote our rice overseas,” said Moran. “We have strong marketing programs in Asia, where most California rice is shipped and that accounts for 15-20 percent of U.S. rice exports, and we work hard on the policy side to push for improved market access.”