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.