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First of Many Products Ahead from the Climate-Smart Commodity Program

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Great River Organic Milling in Fountain City, Wisconsin for a big announcement. He introduced long grain rice as the first commercially available product to come to market as a result of USDA’s Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities.

Vilsack says, “This is the first commercially-produced, climate-smart product, this long grain rice. It’s a two-pound bag of rice, and it’s been produced by 30 producers in three states, as was stated, and they produce this quality product. And then it’s come up here, and it goes through an amazing process that the folks here have created for putting that rice in these bags and then getting those bags to grocery stores and opportunities throughout the United States.”

Vilsack says this is what the Climate-Smart Commodities Program was intended to accomplish. The rice is grown on 30,000 acres in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, using a combination of flooding fields and then letting them dry out. That process reduces methane and water usage by 50 percent and increases carbon capture.

Vilsack hopes this is the first of many new products to come to market. He says, “Today’s announcement, today’s opening, today’s opportunity for this product to go to market represents the first of what I suspect will be hundreds of products that are produced in the country to resolve and to respond to consumer demand for sustainably-produced food but also provide an opportunity for farmers to get a better shake.”

Columbia Grain International, owner of the Great River Facility along with AgriCapture joined forces to introduce the long-grain rice grown using climate-smart practices. The rice is available through Enrich Foods via Amazon. The company is planning on having the rice available at grocery stores by the end of the year.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and Brian Winnekins, WRDN, Durand, Wisconsin

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