Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., told rice industry leaders he supports the Cochran disaster assistance package, and encouraged others in Congress to support it.

Berry gave the keynote address to rice producers and millers at the USA Rice Federation's (USA Rice) recent Government Affairs Conference and outlined the agenda for the 108th Congress and challenges facing the rice industry.

Berry committed to working to include rice in any foreign aid packages that are advanced this year. “There are millions of starving people in the world, and there is no reason they should not be eating U.S. rice,” Berry said. “It's nutritious, economical and readily available.”

USA Rice members from rice-producing states converged on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress.

USA Rice Federation is the national advocate for all segments of the rice industry, conducting activities to influence government programs, developing and initiating programs to increase worldwide demand.