Industry News

California Rice Leaders recognized at Outlook Conference

tractor at sunset

Today’s USA Rice Outlook Conference awards luncheon included positive news for several California industry members.

Honored for their outstanding service to the industry are rice farmer of the year, Nicole Montna Van Vleck, and rice lifetime achievement award winner, Dr. Kent McKenzie, longtime head of the California Rice Experiment Station.

In addition, the newest Rice Leadership Development Class will include grower Peter Rystrom of Butte County and Adam McCalister of Farmers’ Rice Cooperative.

Congratulations to all on these well-deserved honors!

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Lorenzo Pope

Lorenzo Pope

Longtime industry leader Lorenzo Pope passed on March 25, 2024. Dr. Pope was known as a plant breeder and executive at Rice Researchers. He served for decades on the California Rice Commission Board of Directors and many of its committees, including the Rice Promotion Board. In 2015, the California Rice Research Board presented Dr. Pope with the California Rice Industry Award. Ever an educator to others and always willing to take a phone call, lend a hand or attend any rice meeting, Lorenzo will be remembered as a giant in our industry.

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