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Andrew Rice

Andrew Rice was born and raised in Santa Maria, California, and the 6th
generation in his family to farm in the fertile soils of the Santa Maria Valley.
His great-great-great grandfather, John H. Rice arrived in Santa Maria
in September 1873 in a covered wagon in search of farmland and better
opportunities for his family. Shortly thereafter, the Rice family legacy of
farming began with their early crops predominantly in grain, wheat, oats,
and barley. As one of the original pioneering families in the region, the Rice’s and the generations that followed, continued to be great stewards of the land and strong contributors to their local community.

Following in their footsteps, as a child, Andy grew up on the family farm,
working on the ranch during summer break and taking an interest in
farming from a young age. After graduating from St. Joseph High School
in 1997, Andy pursued his BA in Business Management from Arizona State
University, graduating in 2000, then continued on to complete his MBA with
a concentration in finance from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo.

With a strong educational foundation, Andy went to work for his family’s
farming company, OSR Enterprises, holding various positions until 2008
when he joined Driscoll’s, Inc. Andy started as the District Manager for the
Santa Maria region, and was responsible for overseeing and developing the
region to its fullest potential. He worked closely with Driscoll’s independent
growers to organize resources, leverage tools and build a trusted
relationship between the grower and Driscoll’s corporate. He recruited
new growers, developed a test plot at the Driscoll’s cooler, and cultivated a
production team to help with forecasting and quality control.

In 2012, an opportunity arose with the family farming company, and Andy
returned to OSR Enterprises as their General Manager. Named after his
grandfather, Owen Stewart Rice, OSR is a vertically integrated farming
company, managing the land, resources, farming and distribution of berries
and vegetables. With this diverse leadership responsibility, Andy was able to grow and further develop his skills and knowledge of farming.
Remaining close with the Reiter/Driscoll’s organization, Andy seized an
opportunity in March of 2016 to take over as Vice President of Santa Maria
operations for the Reiter Affiliated Companies. It was a critical time for the
district, as the region was struggling with underperforming crops, and weak financial results. Thanks to the hard work of so many, the district has had multiple years of success and is now poised for continued growth. Andy’s leadership role has also expanded, where he now oversees the farming regions of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties in addition to Santa Barbara County.

Like generations that came before him, Andy continues to pursue his career
in farming alongside his strong contributions to the Santa Maria community. Andy serves on the Board of Directors of the California Strawberry Commission, Students for Eco-Education in Agriculture (SEEAG), the Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, and Facts from Farmers. In the past, he has served on the boards of the Marian Hospital Foundation Board, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley and the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (CoLAB).

Andy lives in Arroyo Grande, California with his wife, Megan and their
four children. He enjoys spending time with his family, attending the kid’s
sporting events and traveling to Lake Nacimiento on weekend trips or
holidays.