Senator Boxer on Richvale’s Founding   

Tuesday, July 7, 2009  

Dear Friend:

I recently honored the community of Richvale with a statement on its 100th anniversary that was reprinted in the Congressional Record. I’m pleased to share that statement with you, which you will find below.

Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I am pleased to recognize the 100th anniversary of the community of Richvale, CA. In 1909, settlers from the Midwest began to arrive by train and horse-drawn carriages to this town with hopes of creating a close-knit community. Over the last century, Richvale has grown from a small settlement town of a few families to the heart of rice country in northern California.

As families settled in this small Butte County town in the early 1900s, California's rice industry began to take shape. Richvale became an early producer of rice in the State with the support of local churches, general stores, and blacksmith shops. The strong sense of community, as well as ideal soil and climate conditions, led to the success of the region's dominance in growing rice. The Richvale community worked together closely to develop irrigation systems, soil improvement, conservation techniques, and formed cooperatives with their neighbors to store and dry their crops to increase their yields and fight agricultural-related pests and diseases. These practices served as a model for other rice growers as the industry began to grow throughout the Upper Sacramento Valley. The Rice Experiment Station, that has been in operation since 1912 and conducts innovative rice improvement research and seed production, is located just south of Richvale and is credited with much of the California rice industry's international success.

Richvale's thriving commercial rice production continued as many of the men went to serve their country during World Wars I and II. The women of Richvale kept the industry alive by taking control of the responsibilities that included the day-to-day work, as well as the business side of the farming operations.

Richvale continues to thrive as a cornerstone in California's rice country, while still maintaining their small town character that drew early settlers to the region. I commend the Richvale community for their success in both the rice industry and for serving as an example of the success that a small community of dedicated neighbors can accomplish when they come together around a common goal. I wish Richvale another 100 years of success.


Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer