Rice Farming Agriculture on Youtube

Rice Farming TV Gets The Views

By Tim Hammerich with the AgInformation Network

According to YouTube, 1 billion hours of video are watched on their platform every day. This has created an opportunity for some farmers to invite viewers in to see how their food is grown.

One of my favorites is called Rice Farming TV, created by 3rd Generation Gridley Rice Farmer Matthew Sligar. Matthew discovered that he really enjoyed the film making process, and always found striking images he wanted to capture around his farm in Northern California. As he started sharing his videos, he kept getting asked questions from the viewing public.

“For example, what’s the difference between white and brown rice? It’s the same rice plant. It’s just milled differently. So a lot of people would ask me, “what do you farm? White or Brown rice? And the answer is both. And that always kind of took people by surprise, and I thought, wow, people are interested in the rice industry,”said Sliger. “They don’t maybe know that much in terms of how it’s produced. In fact, a lot of people, even in California, don’t know that rice is grown in California. So there’s this public education, this storytelling, this filming, the visual storytelling. All this together kind of led me to start Rice Farming TV.”

The channel, which now has over 32,000 subscribers, shares Matthew’s day-to-day life on the farm. It also serves as a platform to answer questions about issues such as water, the nutrition of rice, wildlife conservation, and rural living.

When asked how other farmers might create similar platforms themselves, Sligar says he considers film making his art form, but any form of expression online or not, can be an effective tool to connect about agriculture.

California Rice Grower Demystifies Rice Industry

California Rice Grower Feeds Minds Also


By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director


By now, growers have harvested much of northern California’s rice. Most of it is already in the rice mill. While prices were low this year, production has been very good, according to Matthew Sligar, a third-generation rice grower in Gridley, up in Butte County.

California Rice Grower
Matthew Sligar, “How Rice is Harvested.”

“Yes, we just got done with rice harvest. We are chopping the rice straw that is left in the fields. We’re disking it in to aid in decomposition,” Sligar said.

“Then we flood the fields with about 4 to 6 inches of water, creating a natural habitat for migratory birds. We just let the field sit over the winter so the straw decomposes. We work it back up in the spring.”

Northern California rice growers dedicate the winter months, and even the early season months when fields are first flooded, to help migratory birds whose original habitat has been taken over by cities and expanding neighborhoods.

Birds by the millions – including ducks, geese and shorebirds – rest, feed and rear their young in rice fields during their annual migrations. “Our fields turn white like snow from the down floating feathers left behind by birds,” Sligar said.

Matthew Sligar, California Rice Grower and Blogger
Matthew Sligar, California Rice Grower and Blogger

And yet, due to global oversupply, rice prices are trending lower this season. “We had to put our rice into a marketing pool because we wanted to guarantee a home for it,” Sligar said. “We did not want to gamble on the cash market. We haven’t seen the returns yet; however, I got a great yield, and I hear most of Northern California got extremely good yields.”

“Hopefully, that will make up for some of the low price, and we might make some money. When you get a good year, you’ve got to save that money for bad years like this year, just make it through to next year,” Sligar said.

Besides farming rice, Sligar is a cyclist and a social media blogger. He produces great videos on all segments of the rice industry.

“That’s one reason why I started Rice Farming TV because whenever I’d be at a restaurant or some spot socializing, someone will say, ‘What do you do?’ I tell them that I farm rice. ‘Rice? Where do you live?’ I say, ‘I live in California.’ They don’t know that rice is grown in California, but it’s the best,” Sligar said.


Click below to view Sligar’s video, “How Rice is Harvested!”

Also, in Sligar’s repertoire is the best way to surprise someone you love in the middle of a busy rice season, in The Mile High Surprise!

 View more videos at ricefarmingtv.com.