Feb 20, 2010
New Aromatic Rice Brings Excitement to LA Harvest!
As Jimmy Hoppe harvests his rice crop in a small parish in Louisiana, he also is making history.¬† Jimmy¬† is among the first rice farmers to bring a new jasmine-type variety, named Jazzman rice, to consumers. A third-generation rice producer, Jimmy has been planting specialty rice varieties for more than 18¬† years. After working with researchers at Louisiana State University to test and develop Jazzman rice,¬† he is excited that this year the first crop will be in some Louisiana grocery stores and restaurants in November, with expanded distribution next year.
This spring Jimmy planted 300 acres of rice, including 80 acres of Jazzman.¬† During harvest, a typical day for Jimmy begins at 6:00 a.m. with unloading grain from the previous evening‚Äôs harvest at his local co-op before heading to the fields to cut rice. When harvest is over,¬† his rice fields are flooded for second crop production, and to attract migrating birds and waterfowl who feed on leftover rice as they travel the Mississippi Flyway going south.
Louisiana, the third largest rice-producing state, typically plants about 450,000 acres of long and medium grain rice totaling 2.7 billion pounds. The Louisiana crop becomes part of the 19 billion pounds of U.S. rice harvested by farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Texas. Thanks to this abundance, over 80% of the rice that is consumed in the U.S. is grown here. U.S. rice is also exported to more than 100 countries, making the U.S. the world‚Äôs third largest exporter.
"I am very proud that Louisiana farmers are bringing Jazzman rice to consumers.¬† There is a strong demand for aromatic rice, and now consumers can buy domestic aromatics and also support U.S. farmers and the economy, which we appreciate," Jimmy said.
When Jimmy isn‚Äôt farming, he‚Äôs busy as president of the Louisiana Rice Council. He enjoys camping and going to the beach with his wife, Brenda, and their grandkids. Jimmy‚Äôs favorite rice dish is stir-fry!
To celebrate rice harvest, try one of our award-winning rice recipes and look for the ‚ÄúGrown in the USA‚Äù logo on packages of all varieties of 100% domestically grown rice in stores.
Jazzman rice will be marketed by Jazzmen Rice, LLC in colorful, distinctive packaging that features legendary Louisiana Jazz musician Louis Armstrong. For more information on Jazzman rice, visit www.jazzmenrice.com