The Rice Leadership Development Program’s international class members for 2011 are growers Curtis Berry, Robinsonville, Miss.; Heath Long, Tichnor, Ark.; Kirk Meins, Stuttgart, Ark.; and David Petter, Stuttgart, Ark.

The industry-related representative is Tim Walker, Mississippi State University, Merigold, Miss.

“Once again, we had an outstanding group of applicants, which made the selection committee’s job a tough but rewarding task,” said Rice Foundation Chairman Glenn Nevins of Anheuser-Busch. “This international session will be held in Mexico and Cuba. Mexico is our largest market and Cuba is a market that holds great promise for the U.S. rice industry, so it will be a valuable learning experience for these participants.”

To be eligible for the international class, applicants must first have completed the traditional Rice Leadership Development Program. An important factor in the selection process for the international session is how the graduate has put his or her leadership training to use in service of the rice industry, Nevins said.

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