America’s biggest brewer and largest end user of domestic rice invests $150,000 in Rice Stewardship Partnership
JONESBORO, AR (March 18, 2019) — Anheuser-Busch and USA Rice are partnering for the third year in a row to make a significant investment in America’s rice growers, with America’s leading beer company announcing it will donate $150,000 to USA Rice to support the organization’s Rice Stewardship Partnership. The Rice Stewardship Partnership is a public-private partnership between USA Rice, Ducks Unlimited, USDA, and supply chain partners that provides growers with technical and financial support to transition to more efficient irrigation, nutrient, and energy practices while creating wildlife habitat on working ricelands.
“Anheuser-Busch’s investment in the Rice Stewardship Partnership will support U.S. rice farmers and their growing operations, as well as allow them to test new technology to improve their operations and meet sustainability goals. Investments like these are what sustain U.S. rice farmers and provide the opportunities to test new agriculture practices,” said Betsy Ward, President and CEO of USA Rice.
American farmers are the backbone of the domestic beer industry, and over the last decade, Anheuser-Busch has spent more than $5.5 billion purchasing rice, corn, barley and hops from American farmers. As the largest end user of rice in the U.S., Anheuser-Busch sources all of its rice from U.S. farmers, totaling more than $120 million of rice last year alone. Rice helps provide a clean, crisp taste, and has been part of the Budweiser recipe since 1876. Budweiser has stayed true to the original recipe since it was first introduced, and rice is a prized ingredient in both the Budweiser and Bud Light recipes.
“We’re proud to stand with USA Rice and invest in a program that will help growers continue to adopt efficient practices and technology,” said Jess Newman, Anheuser-Busch’s Director of U.S. Agronomy. “Supporting both the environment and our growers’ livelihoods is a clear win for our 2025 Sustainability Goals and, most importantly, for the growers who make our beers possible.”
As part of Anheuser-Busch’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, the company works with all of its direct farmers to help improve their performance through innovation and knowledge-sharing, ultimately leading to better yields and increased efficiencies. Anheuser-Busch’s investment in the Rice Stewardship Program will help fund strategies to protect working ricelands, including conservation planning, irrigation efficiencies, nutrient management and education of decision-makers on water, agriculture and wildlife habitats. The Rice Stewardship Partnership also helps improve air quality, conserve energy and support rice growers’ bottom line by testing new irrigation strategies.
The Rice Stewardship Partnership was formed in 2013 when USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited joined forces to magnify conservation impacts vital to the future of rice production and wetland habitat, and it has grown significantly with new partners and supporters, such as Anheuser-Busch.
Anheuser-Busch has proudly supported farmers and the agricultural community for generations. The brewer owns 15 agricultural facilities across the country, including a rice facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that mills more than 2.6 million pounds of rice per day. Most of the rice milled at the Jonesboro facility is sourced within a 30-minute drive from local farming families, and by-products are used as inputs in the feed industry, providing a key element for cattle feed.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has been woven into the cultural fabric of the United States, carrying on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 23 breweries, 15 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry.
From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home.
ABOUT USA RICE
USA Rice Federation (USA Rice) is the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry. Our mission is to ensure the health and vitality of a unified U.S. rice industry by advocating on behalf of farmers, millers, merchants, and allied businesses. Through USA Rice, the U.S. rice industry has strong representation to ensure its voice is heard when and where it counts.
The new generation of U.S. rice production can be summed up in four words: producing more with less. U.S. rice farmers have a longstanding commitment to protect and preserve natural resources. Over the past 20 years, U.S. rice farmers have increased yields by 53%, decreased land use by 35%, energy use by 38%, and water use by 53% all without the use of GMOs.
ABOUT THE RICE STEWARDSHIP PARTNERSHIP
Rice Stewardship funders include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Walmart Foundation, the Mosaic Company Foundation, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Chevron U.S.A., Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, RiceTec, BASF, American Rice, Inc. – Riviana Foods, Inc., Delta Plastics, Anheuser Busch, Wells Fargo, Farmers Rice Milling Company, Horizon Ag, Turner’s Creek & Bombay Hook Farms, MacDon Industries, Dow AgroSciences, Riceland Foods and Ducks Unlimited major sponsors.