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USA Rice completes government affairs staffing

The USA Rice Federation has completed its government affairs staffing with the March 14 hiring of Senior Director Reece Langley and the March 2 hiring of Johnny Broussard as director for legislative affairs and communications.

"We are pleased to have concluded our search to fill these vacancies at such an important time in the congressional budgetary process," USA Rice President and CEO Stuart Proctor said.

Langley, a cotton grower from Alabama, worked nearly three years for Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.), the fourth-ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee. Langley worked through the 2002 Farm Bill and is familiar with southern commodities.

Prior to U.S. Rice, Langley was a lobbyist handling agricultural issues for the Independent Community Bankers Association. He has been participating in the Combest coalition working on the 2006 agriculture budget.

"Reece brings just the background USA Rice needs given the current budget politics and positioning for the 2007 Farm Bill," Proctor said. "He has a thorough knowledge of agriculture and government affairs issues, and he is a clear and effective communicator."

Langley took his bachelor and master of business administration degrees from Auburn University.

Broussard fills a new position that will communicate legislative updates and answer questions from USA Rice members. In this capacity, Broussard also will be active on Capitol Hill on priority issues.

"Johnny needs no introduction to much of the rice community since he has worked on rice-related government affairs issues for many years, especially with retired Sen. John Breaux (D-La.)," Proctor said.

Broussard has been a congressional staff member for more than 25 years, serving in various positions from press secretary to legislative assistant, among others. He took his bachelor’s degree in French language from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Service award

Broussard, from Crowley, La., was presented with a USA Rice Federation award for distinguished service to the U.S. rice industry at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans in December.

Two other staff members complete the USA Rice government affairs team:

— Steve Hensley, who handles regulatory issues primarily with EPA.

— Administrative Assistant Emily Williams.

"Steve is doing a very capable job handling our regulatory issues," Proctor said. Williams, who joined USA Rice last fall, "has demonstrated her capability by helping us successfully conduct the Outlook Conference and the Government Affairs Conference," he said.

The other member of the Government Affairs legislative team is Ben Noble, who in his capacity as a consultant will provide additional leadership, experience and advice.

"This is a very strong team," Proctor said. "We have experience to help address our short-term needs with the budget and the farm bill, and to help us prepare for the future. We’ll be strong in the House and the Senate; we’ll be more efficient in our allocation of staff resources; and, we have "can do" people to address our legislative challenges."

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