Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Matagorda County rice farmer Scott Savage was selected for a national rice farming leadership program.
As a fifth-generation Matagorda County rice farmer, Scott Savage looks for new ways to make the family business as profitable as possible.
That drive for improvement led Savage to apply for the national Rice Leadership Development Program.
His selection to the seven-member 2018/20 class was recently announced at the annual Rice Awards Luncheon at the 2017 USA Rice Outlook Conference in San Antonio.
“I’m very excited because its focus is on the rice industry which will be great for me,” Savage of the two-year program that will include four, one-week sessions in Louisiana, California, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
The sessions are designed to strengthen their leadership skills
“This is my first group to lead through the leadership program and I am elated with the quality of individuals in the class,” said Rice Foundation Director Steve Linscombe.
“The group is very diverse geographically and in skill sets, and all have strong people skills and work ethics. I think this will allow for excellent interaction among the group during the program.”
Savage will join new rice-producer class members are Brad Doyle, Weiner, Ariz.; Brian McKenzie, Plumas Lake, Calif.; Matthew Sligar, Gridley, Calif.; and Zach Worrell, Hornersville, Missouri.
The new industry-related class members are Adam Famoso, with the Louisiana State University AgCenter, and Zach Urrutia, with California Family Foods.
The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training.
Savage pointed out that he completed a similar program with Texas Farm Bureau.
He got attention from the rice industry in 2016 when he began using drones.
“I use drones in scouting the fields,” he explained, adding his family farmed 2,200 acres of rice in 2017.
“I check the fields every 10 days,” Savage said.
The drones enable him to learn if the irrigated fields have leaks or if they’re without water.
“A big three-inch rain will wash the levees out. With the overhead view, you can see so much quicker,” he added.