Rice farmer Ray Vester of Stuttgart, Ark., has been named to EPA’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee.

The FRRCC is an independent committee that advises EPA on a wide range of environmental issues of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

Vester, a rice farmer for more than 40 years, is the current chairman of USA Rice Federation’s Environmental Regulatory subcommittee. In addition, he is a member of the Arkansas Rice Producers’ Group board of directors, the USA Rice Federation Sustainability Task Force and the Biotechnology Task Force. Vester is also a member of the Arkansas State Plant Board.

FRCC members for the 2010-12 term include representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Committee members were selected from a large pool of applicants responding to a request for nominations published last November in the Federal Register. FRRCC meetings will be open and the group is expected to meet twice annually, generally in Washington.