(left to right): Delta Plastics’ Irrigation Specialist Chris DeClerk, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Services’ Irrigation Specialist Mike Hamilton and Arkansas NRCS’s Irrigation Water Management Specialist Jessica Royal, Riceland’s Manager of Sustainability Adam Shea kick off the first sustainability theme centered around irrigation water
Riceland Foods held eight district drier council meetings in January and February 2020 to educate the council and district members on the company’s efforts on sales, brand positioning, member communications and market updates.
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Strategy Ben Noble opened the meetings sharing the new Riceland manifesto video showcasing how the company’s new brand strategy is coming to life for all Riceland audiences.
“The goal of our new strategy is to drive more value into the cooperative,” said Noble. “Our ultimate goal is to create a brand consumers and customers want to buy more of so our members get the most value for the rice they grow.”
Chris Cline, vice president of Riceland Brands division, and Mark Holt, vice president of Riceland Bulk division, gave topline updates on the sales strategy the company implemented over the course of the last year. The duo shared how their teams work together to generate the most value for every sale, how the company updated new packaging for retail and foodservice and upcoming product launches.
Bill Free, director of member relations, shared new technology Riceland will implement this spring for farmer members to have better access to their account information and delivery history. Free also encouraged members to sign up for the Riceland Member Community on Facebook, a private group specifically for members to receive updates from the cooperative. The Riceland Foods Member Community is currently active on Facebook, and the Riceland App is set to launch in late-March.
Grayson Daniels, vice president of grain sales and procurement, shared rice and soybean market and pricing updates with the farmer members. Daniels told members current prices for new crops combined with the University of Arkansas crop budgets point toward a fairly normal crop mix. “As long as we have decent planting weather, the prevented planting acres from last year should come back to rice and soybeans and corn could see an increase as well,” he said.
In partnership with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Services, Delta Plastics and National Resources Conservation Service of Arkansas (NRCS), Riceland’s Manager of Sustainability Adam Shea announced the first sustainability theme centered around irrigation water management. This partnership was created to help Riceland farmer members in Arkansas take the next step in maximizing efficiency within the irrigation process on their farms.
President and CEO Danny Kennedy said the winter drier council meetings are key to updating Riceland’s membership base on important matters across the cooperative.
“The local drier councils are important to Riceland because it is the ground level of communication with the cooperative’s membership base,” said Kennedy. “We want to continue to find ways to share information with our membership and create member value for the cooperative.”
The meetings were held in the following locations: North Grand Prairie District in Hazen, AR; North Central Arkansas District in Newport, AR; Northeast Arkansas District in Corning, AR; East Arkansas District in Wheatley, AR; Southeast Arkansas District in Dumas, AR; Stuttgart District in Stuttgart, AR; Jonesboro District in Jonesboro, AR and Southeast Missouri District in Poplar Bluff, MO.
About Riceland Foods, Inc
Riceland Foods is the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice serving 5,500 farmer members in Arkansas and Missouri. As a farmer-led cooperative, Riceland stores, transports, processes and markets more than 2.5 million metric tons of grain each year, and its products are sold across the United States and in 75 countries. It’s also one of the Mid-South’s major soybean processors. Riceland products include white, brown and parboiled rice, rice bran oil, soybean meal and oil and feed ingredients. Learn more at: Riceland.com.