USA Rice Federation President and CEO Betsy Ward today congratulated USA Rice member company Lundberg Family Farms for receiving the 2009 “Agricultural Stewardship Award,” recognizing the company's “excellence in conserving, maintaining and improving our natural resources and environment by using innovative and progressive business practices.” The California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, along with Western Agricultural Services, presented the award.

“We congratulate you on being recognized for your commitment to the environment,” Ward said. “America's rice farmers are engaged in practices that protect our natural resources, and USA Rice is pleased that the industry has such a fine example of those efforts in Lundberg Family Farms.”

Lundberg Family Farms, located in Richvale, Calif., produces specialty and organic rice and rice products, and incorporates a variety of environmentally friendly practices into its operations, including the use of solar- and wind-generated electricity at the Richvale facility, collaboration with duck egg rescue organizations to gather eggs in Lunberg's cover crop fields before working them for rice planting, and using no post-harvest chemical fumigation on its stored rice.

“This award is especially meaningful to us because it's presented to farmers by farmers,” said Jessica Lundberg, chairman of the board of Lundberg Family Farms and a 2009 Rice Leadership Development Program alumnus.