Applications for the Rice Leadership Development Program must be received by Oct. 5. Rice producers and industry-related professionals are encouraged to apply for the next class, which will be announced in December at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in St. Louis, Mo. 

The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.

The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals chosen by a committee of agribusiness leaders evaluating their applications, reviewing letters of recommendation and conducting personal interviews with the finalists. Candidates must be 25-45 at the time of application and derive their primary livelihood from some aspect of the rice industry.

The program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc. and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and managed by the USA Rice Federation.

For more information on the program or an application form, visit