Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced today that funding for the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) Rice Research Unit in Beaumont, Texas will not be eliminated from the Presidents 2007 budget. This is great news for the many rice farmers that live and work in the 2nd Congressional District, said Poe. A reduction in funding would have had a serious impact on the rice industry and rural economies all along the Gulf Coast. We must provide our farmers with the latest research and necessary tools to continue to produce an affordable and safe food supply for the country and the world.

The Presidents proposed budget for 2007 called for a cut of $1.5 million in research money provided to the ARS program. Congressman Poe advocated on local farmers behalf and worked to restore the funding during a meeting of the House Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee.

In a statement released by The US Rice Producers Association, Ray Stoesser, President of the Texas Rice Council and a member of the Executive Committee of the US Rice Producers Association said he was pleased with the news. From day one Congressman Poe has understood the importance of agriculture and he deserves full credit for his efforts in getting this vital funding restored to a research facility that has a strong track record of accomplishments.

Since its creation in 1909, the research center at Beaumont, Texas has been served well by the strong partnership between Texas A&M University, USDA-ARS, and the U.S. rice industry. For more information on the Beaumont Rice Research Unit, please visit their website,