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Calling for U.S. Rice for Humanitarian Assistance

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman and Congressman Rick Crawford led a bipartisan, bicameral effort urging the U.S. government to use American-grown rice for food aid shipments.

In a letter sent Friday to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Gayle Smith, the lawmakers called on prioritizing American-grown rice for the Food for Peace program.

“With a strong crop of rice this past year resulting in significant stocks, we see a clear opportunity to provide greater assistance in an even more economical fashion to help those in need as a result of the refugee crisis,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

USDA and USAID are in the process of selecting commodities to use in emergency response humanitarian efforts. As the nation’s leading producer of rice, Arkansas can play a role in feeding people in need around the world.

The letter was signed by all of the members of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation as well as Members of Congress from other rice-producing states.

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