The USA Rice Federation Board of Directors has elected California rice producer Al Montna to be its next chairman. Montna, whose two-year term begins Aug. 1, follows Texas rice miller Lee Adams in that position.

β€œI can think of no one better qualified to serve as Federation Chairman,” Adams said. β€œIt is extremely important as we go into a farm-bill year to have a grower serve as chairman. Al Montna is the right man for the right time.”

In September 2000, Montna assisted in the formation of the American Commodity Co., a firm that markets rice domestically and internationally. ACC last year acquired Great Western Growers, a rice milling and storage facility located in Williams and Willows, CA.

Montna served as chairman of Farmers Rice Cooperative in Sacramento, Calif., from November 1984 to November 1998.

He has also been active in state and national politics. Montna has chaired or has been active in California senatorial, congressional, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, including those of Pete Wilson, Dan Lungren, George Bush, Wally Herger, Vic Fazio, Mike Thompson, Doug Ose, Bill Jones, and Bill Simon. Montna continues to serve as State Finance Committee co-chair in support of Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger.