The Rice Foundation Chairman Glenn Nevins and USA Rice Federation Chairman Jamie Loewer presented diplomas to graduates of the 2009 Rice Leadership Development Program. The presentations were made during the morning general session of the 2011 USA Rice Federation Government Affairs Conference.

This is the 20th graduating class for the Leadership Program, which has provided intensive training in the industry and communications skills to 140 rice farmers and industry-related professionals.

Mississippi farmer and 2009 Leadership Program Class Spokesperson Kirk Satterfield said the knowledge the group obtained and the friendships that were forged made for an invaluable experience for the participants. "This was a great experience for me and the other participants and we look forward to taking the things we learned in this program and applying it in service to our industry," Satterfield said.