The California Rice Commission (CRC), a USA Rice Federation member organization, is working to preserve the former Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony, the first Japanese settlement in the United States. The colony was founded in 1869, in the Gold Hill area near where James Marshall discovered gold. The Japanese immigrants farmed several crops, including rice, during their stay.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., have introduced bills that would complete the purchase and management by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management of the 272-acre Coloma, Calif.-area ranch.

"As a fourth-generation Japanese-American, it is truly wonderful to see Sen. Boxer and Congressman McClintock noticing the value of preserving the Wakamatsu Colony site and being able to put people ahead of politics," Gold Hill Wakamatsu Colony Board President Fred Kochi said.

The CRC represents the entire California rice industry and is a proud supporter of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Project.