Rice Industry Leaders Recognized for Outstanding Conservation Practices
At its annual Outlook Conference, USA Rice honored two industry leaders for their exemplary efforts to preserve habitat, use natural resources efficiently and address the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.
Louisiana rice and crawfish farmer Jeff Durand was presented with The USA Rice Distinguished Conservation Award while The Powell Group, a dynamic group of companies in the agriculture sector, received The USA Rice Sustainability Award.
Jeff Durand began farming rice and crawfish in St. Martinsville with his brothers C.J. and Greg in the 1970s.
No-till has been implemented on Durand Farms since 1980, and its water and nutrient management and wildlife habitat efforts are multi-award winning.
Three distinct entities in The Powell Group have earned the company its sustainability accolade: one is a leading operator of rice hull combustion power plants; another refines rice hull ash to create a unique amorphous silica structure with increasingly valuable applications, while the third is a regional provider of wetland mitigation that has created and protected more than 300 hectares (744 acres) of wetland habitat and planted over 150,000 trees.