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.
Time with the family farming operations and 11 years with the Driscoll’s/Reiter organizations gave Andy valuable experience in all areas of the vegetable and berry industries. Recently, Andy seized on an opportunity with Cal-Giant. The recent move has Andy responsible for Giant’s product supply and farming operations, including all regions of the US, Mexico and Peru.
Like generations that came before him, Andy continues to pursue his career in farming alongside his strong contributions to the Santa Maria community. In the past, Andy has served 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, the Marian Hospital Foundation Board, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley and the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (CoLAB). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Facts from Farmers.
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.