About the Board

 The Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board consists of nine rice producers appointed by the Governor with terms lasting two years. The board members give of their time and talents to serve the rice industry and do not receive compensation.

Jim Whittaker, McGehee Chairman
David Gairhan, Jonesboro, Vice Chairman

Joe Christian, Jonesboro
Jay Coker, Stuttgart
John King III, Helena
Scott Matthews, Weiner
Roger Pohlner, Fisher
Jeff Rutledge, Newport
Charles Williams, Crawfordsville

History of the Program

The Arkansas rice industry has a long history of support for research and promotion programs. With the founding of the Rice Council in the late 1950’s, Arkansas’ rice producers voluntarily contributed a portion of the profits from each crop to promote rice domestically and abroad. In the late 1970’s, farmers began voluntarily contributing to a fund specifically for research. In 1985, the programs were combined into one state agency, the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board, created by Act 725 of 1985. The act set an initial refundable rate of 2 cents per bushel with an automatic increase to 3 cents per bushel in 1987. 1.65 cents of each assessment was set aside for research, while 1.35 cents was reserved for promotion and market development activities.

The program has undergone changes since that time, resulting the current program. Act 16 of 1999 created a mandatory assessment of 1.35 cents per bushel to be paid by the producer, and 1.35 cents to be paid by the first buyer. The funds are used to conduct a program of research, promotion and market development. Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board

Since the Board’s inception in 1985, the following men and women have dedicated countless hours to improve the productivity and profitability of the rice industry in Arkansas by serving on the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.

Former and Current Members

Harvey Adams 1985-1986

Tommy Hillman 1985-1995, Chair 1985-1988

Milton Lemmons 1985-1990

Jon Lambi 1985-2004, Sec. 1993-1995,
Vice 1995-1997, Chair 1997-1999

Joe Rennicke 1985-2002, Vice 1985-1988, Chair 1988-1990

Gary Sebree 1985-1988, Sec. 1985-1988

John King, Jr., 1985-1998,
Sec. 1992-1993, Vice 1993-1995, Chair 1995-1997

L.F. Seidenstricker 1985-1987

Bill Rasco 1985-1994,
Sec. 1988-1990, Vice 1990-1992, Chair 1992-1993

David Hillman 1986-1999, Vice 1988-1990, Chair 1990-1992

Carl Morrison III 1987-1997, Sec. 1995-1996

Jerry Hoskyn, 1988-2010, Sec. 1990-1992, 2003;
Vice 1992-1993, Chair 1993-1995, Sec. 2003-2005,
Vice 2005-2007, Chair 2007-2009

Martha Ahrent 1991-1996, 1997-2000,
Vice 1997-1999, Chair 1999-2000

George Dunklin 1994-2005, Sec. 1999-2001,
Vice 2001-2003, Chair 2003-2005

Marvin Hare 1995-2021, Sec. 1997-1999, Vice 1999-2001,
Chair 2001-2003, Sec. 2009-2011, Vice 2011-2013,
Chair 2013-2015.

Regina Coleman 1996-1999

Bryan Moery 1998-2020, Sec. 2001-2003, Vice 2003-2005,
Chair 2005-2007, Sec. 2011-2013, Vice 2013-2015.
Chair 2015-2017

Greg Baltz 1999-2001

John Andrews 1999-2004

Randy Veach 2001-2002

Rusty Smith 2001-2011

Rich Hillman 2002-2019, Sec. 2007-2009,
Vice 2009-2011, Chair 2011-2013

Wayne Wiggins 2002-2023, Sec. 2005-2007,
Vice 2007-2009, Chair 2009-2011

Joe Christian 2004-present, Sec. 2017-2019,
Vice 2019-2021, Chair 2021-2023

Roger Pohlner 2004-present, Sec. 2015-2017,
Vice 2017-2019, Chair 2019-2021

John Alter 2006-2013

Jay Coker 2010-present, Sec. 2013-2015,
Vice 2015-2017, Chair 2017-2019

Mike Sullivan 2011-2015

Bobby Hoard, 2013-2017

David Gairhan, 2015-present, Sec. 2021-2023, Vice 2023-present

Jim Whittaker, 2017-present, Sec. 2019-2021, Vice 2021-present, Chair 2023-present

Jeff Rutledge, 2019-present

John King III, 2020-present

David Petter, 2021-2023

Scott Matthews, 2023-present

Charles Williams, 2023-present