The International Rice Festivall has chosen Thibodeaux Ag Group — from left, Ross Thibodeaux, Robert Dale Thibodeaux, Eric Thibodeaux, Randy Thibodeaux and Steven Thibodeaux — as the 83rd Festival Honoree.
Thibodeaux Ag Group Rice Festival Honoree
The International Rice Festival has chosen Thibodeaux Ag Group as the 83rd International Rice Festival Honoree.
The brothers, Randy, Robert Dale and Steven, along with two of their sons, Eric and Ross, will be honored during this year’s event to be held on Oct. 17-19, in Crowley.
Randy, Robert Dale, and Steven Thibodeaux are the sons of Ethel and the late Emery Thibodeaux of Midland. They are third generation farmers and grew up on their father’s rice farm outside of Morse.
Their father, Emery, grew up on his father, Ovey’s, farm in the Lyons Point area. Ovey purchased one of the first rice threshers in the area.
In 1980, they formed Thibodeaux Brothers Farm. In 2006, when Dale’s oldest son Ross joined the farm, Thibodeaux Ag Group was formed.
Randy’s oldest son, Eric, became part of Thibodeaux Ag Group in 2017. The partnership farms 10,000 total acres in Acadia and Vermillion parishes. They have approximately 5,000 acres of rice, 3,200 acres of soybeans and 1,800 acres of crawfish each year.
Randy resides in Crowley with his wife Marlene and they have three children (Hollie, Eric and Austin) along with seven grandchildren.
A graduate of Midland High School, Randy also attended USL where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture in 1976. He began his farming career that same year.
Randy is very active in the rice industry and his community. He sits on the Acadia Parish Rice Growers Board and the Fifth Ward Drainage Board. In addition, he also sits on the USA Rice Western Hemisphere Promotion Committee, the International Trade Policy Committee and the Acadia Parish Rice Advisory Committee.
Randy is a former Acadia Parish Farm Bureau Board member.
He was the 1982 United States Jaycees’ Farmer of the year, the 1984 Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher, the 1987 La. Soybean Association and Dupont ASA Young Leader and the 2002 International Rice Festival Farmer of the Year.
Randy has traveled to many international destinations with the USA Rice Federation,m such as Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba, to promote American rice.
He is a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.
Dale, along with his wife Joni, reside on the farm in Midland. They have three children (Ross, Brandt and Carli) along with two grandchildren and another on the way.
Dale is a graduate of Midland High School and obtained a business degree from USL in 1978. After a short career with Amoco, Dale joined Randy on the farm in 1980.
In 2000, Dale was appointed to the First South Farm Credit Advisory Board and, in 2008, he was elected to the First South Farm Credit Board of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
He serves on the Mermentau River Port Board, the S.W. Farm Service Board and the Acadia Soil and Water Conservation District.
Dale and Joni are members of St. Margaret Catholic Church.
Steven resides in the Morse area with his wife Gail. He has three stepsons and seven grandchildren.
He attended USL, after graduating from Midland High School, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degee in Agriculture in 1981 and he then returned to the farm.
Steven is a member of St. Margaret Catholic Church in Estherwood.
A 2002 graduate of Notre Dame High School, Ross, son of Dale, grew up on the farm in Midland. He returned to the farm after receiving a degree in economics from LSU in 2007.
Ross is a graduate of the LSU Ag Leadership Program and the USA Rice Leadership Program. He serves as vice president of Acadia Parish Rice Growers Association and also sits on the Rice and Soybean Advisory Board.
Ross resides in Midland with his wife Katie and their two children (Thomas and Katherine).
They are active members of St. Margaret Catholic Church.
Eric, Randy’s son, grew up in Crowley and is a 2013 graduate of Notre Dame High School where he was a member of the FFA.
He attended Flying Tiger Aviation School in Rayville and received his pilot’s license in October of 2014.
Eric lives in Mermentau Cove with his wife, Cecelia and their four children (Sophia, Leeah, William and Cecelia).
The Thibodeaux’s grow about 85 percent hybrid varieties with the remainder planted in Provisia. They second crop around 90 percent of their acres each year.
All of the farms are precision leveled and they use a variety of conservation practice such as minimum till and no-till. The group also participates in the RCPP and CSP programs through the NRCS.
They have a drying and trucking operation that handles all of their crops and also handle their own fertilizer and chemical applications with their own equipment.
They market their rice through Supreme Rice Mill.
Their success is greatly attributed to their long term relationships with their land owners and First South Farm Credit.
Thibodeaux Ag Group has hosted several trade delegations throughout the years, some being from Peru, Iraq, Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico. They will be hosting two more in the upcoming weeks.
They also hosted a farm and crawfish tour through USA Rice with TV Chef Sara Moulton where Randy taught Sara how to make crawfish etouffee.
During their farming career, the Thibodeaux’s have been featured in a number of articles such as Delta Farm Press, Louisiana Farm and Ranch and First South Production Credit.
They would like to acknowledge their success was only made possible by the love and support of their family, especially their parents Emery and Ethel, their wives, children and their younger brother, Ralph. “We give thanks to all our employees for all the hard work, commitment and invaluable contribution to our company.”