Fred Clark, executive vice president and general counsel of Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington D.C. and a well-known figure on Capitol Hill, will be the guest speaker at the 58th Annual Texas Rice Council Meeting in El Campo, Texas on January 14 at the El Campo Civic Center. Registration and coffee will begin at 8:00 am, with the meeting starting at 9:00 am. The meeting is open to all rice producers, rice mills, and other supporting industries.

Clark, whose resume spans a 25-year career of working on agricultural related issues in Washington D.C., will address the subject of "U.S. Agriculture Policy in the New Washington Environment." During his career on Capitol Hill, Clark has earned a reputation as one of Washington's most skilled legislative lawyers in the areas of federal agriculture programs and policy, commodity futures and finance.

"Mr. Clark has been an effective voice for farmers in Washington D.C., and his opinions on the issues are of extreme importance for rice producers," said Ray Stoesser, president of the Texas Rice Council. "This is one meeting Texas rice farmers should not miss, and should give them a very good understanding of how their checkoff dollars work for their benefit."

The 58th Annual Texas Rice Council Meeting will also feature a Rice Market Outlook panel. The panel will feature Thomas Wynn, agricultural economist with the US Rice Producers Association who will give a world market overview; Dennis DeLaughter, a rice farmer and market analyst with Progressive Farm Marketing will cover futures and basis movement; and Jay Davis, owner and manager of East Bernard Rice Marketing will discuss local cash markets and inventories. Dr. Lloyd T. (Ted) Wilson, professor and center director of the Texas AgriLIFE Research & Extension Center at Beaumont/Eagle Lake, will address research issues. Dwight Roberts, president and CEO of the U.S. Rice Producers Association, will update the audience on the organization's current activities.

Sponsors will have booths set up, and as usual, there will be some excellent door prizes. Lunch will be catered and served at noon.

The U.S. Rice Producers Association, representing rice farmers in Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, California, Arkansas and Louisiana, is the only organization solely representing the views of U.S. rice farmers.