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RiceUp is Applauded: An Exciting Hope for the Future

It’s young people like [RiceUp team members] who give me hope for the future.

Senator Mike Gabbard

Rice Up: Once an Idea, Now an International Business

Elvin Laceda is no stranger to the Willes Center. Most faculty and students have heard of his team’s work in the Willes Center with their creation of RiceUp Farmers Inc., which is now a registered company in his home country of the Philippines.

RiceUp’s work does not remain in the Philippines, however.

RiceUp Farmers Inc. is spreading to other East Asian countries, like Cambodia. This business is on its way to helping thousands of Farmers escape poverty and become sustainable rice farmers.

Student Business is Honored by State of Hawaii

The spreading news of this young, growing company has been recognized globally as well as in our very own state of Hawaii.

On February 19, 2019, the RiceUp team was invited to be recognized at a Senate Majority at the Hawaii State Capitol. Only part of the team was recognized, which consisted of the following six members: Elvin Laceda, Princess Donato Astle, Joseph Duano, Zenos Thoreson, Joan Rey, and Ruth Alvarado. There they met Senator Mike Gabbard, who they had previously met before.

Their first introduction was in 2017, where Senator Gabbard and the RiceUp team met at a Commerce Chamber. Senator Gabbard, being an advocate for agriculture was immediately impressed with the team and the vision of the company. In his speech that day he even stated, “It’s young people like [RiceUp team members] who give me hope for the future.”

Fast forward 2 years and Senator Gabbard publicly read to the State Capitol RiceUp’s accomplishments and the organization’s impact. He said the following: 

Your work to encourage and train young people to become the next generation of sustainable growers is crucial to our healthy communities in the future.

Senator Mike Gabbard

The honorary certificate was then presented to RiceUp by Senator Gabbard on behalf of the Hawaii State Senate.

Although awards and public recognition do not necessarily build the worth of a business, it does truly put into perspective the importance of students pursuing projects and entrepreneurial dreams. Without drive and ambition, these world impacting businesses would never have been created.

Because this idea was acted on, thousands of rice farmers around Asia are now finding a way to escape the grasp of poverty.

BYU-Hawaii creates entrepreneurs, like Elvin, that change the world.

Students like him, and like you, make the world a better place–one business at a time.

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