The Rice Foundation Chairman Marvin Hare and USA Rice Federation Chairman Jamie Warshaw presented diplomas to graduates of the 2007-09 Rice Leadership Development Program. The presentations were made during the general session of the 2009 USA Rice Federation Government Affairs Conference.

“The opportunity to travel to the rice regions of the United States through the program has allowed our class to see the many different ways there are to grow rice and for us to appreciate the similarities and differences of each area,” said graduating class spokeswoman Jessica Lundberg, chairman of the board for Lundberg Family Farms, and one of seven program participants.

“We saw firsthand the community we have in the rice industry and the strength we have in each other,” she said. “The two years have passed very quickly, and the friendships that have developed between us is a gift from the program that we will keep for the rest of our lives.”

Lundberg thanked John Deere Company and Syngenta, which sponsor the program through a grant to the Rice Foundation. The USA Rice Federation administers the program.