At the recent Field to Market fall plenary meetings here Arkansas rice farmer Mark Isbell was appointed to represent the grower sector on the Field to Market Board of Directors. Field to Market is a diverse collaboration working to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being.
Isbell, a fourth-generation rice farmer from Lonoke County, is very involved in sustainability efforts across the industry and currently represents USA Rice on the Field to Market Awards and Recognition Committee where he serves as co-chair.
Isbell and his father, mother, brother-in-law, and cousin grow 3,000 acres of rice annually on their operation, Zero Grade Farms, where his family has farmed for nearly 100 years.
Isbell is a 2015 graduate of the Rice Leadership Program and now serves on the USA Rice Sustainability Committee, the USA Rice Farmers Conservation Committee, USA Rice Asia Trade Policy Subcommittee, the USA Rice Asia, Turkey Promotion Subcommittee, and is an alternate on the USA Rice International Promotion Committee. He also is a Board Member of the Ag Council of Arkansas and serves on the Engage Cuba Coalition’s Arkansas State Council for Cuba.
The Isbell’s Zero Grade Farms are quick to adopt cutting edge techniques critical to saving natural resources, and received the 2016 Commitment to Quality Award from the American Carbon Registry for their efforts in sustainable rice production. The Isbell family was an integral part of the group that sold the first-ever voluntary carbon credits generated from U.S. rice farmers.
The Field to Market mission is to define, measure, and advance the sustainability of food, fiber, and fuel production in the United States. USA Rice is a member and actively works to ensure that the rice industry is represented in the conversation and that the metrics used accurately reflect current growing practices.
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