Chung Yu-en is a man with a mission: to revitalize his rural hometown in Hualien''s Fuli Township. Brought up in Taipei, Chung returned to his family''s sleepy hometown after his father fell ill. Since moving back, he''s established a thriving agricultural co-op and organic rice company. Together with a group of similar-minded youths, he''s organized a music festival to build community within their rural township.

For Chung, who raised in Taipei, Fuli Township was just a distant childhood memory. That’s until he decided to return and run an organic rice company.

Chong Yu-en
Fuli farmer
I had always thought I wanted to be a Legislative Yuan assistant, but then my life changed. On Sept. 9, 2010, my dad got sick. He had an aortic dissection. It’s quite a dangerous condition. But that’s what got me to start thinking about returning to the countryside.

After returning to his hometown, Chung began working at his father’s agricultural co-op. His family sold rice, and he gave their brand a meaningful name that conveyed gratitude.

Chen Yun-tsung
Fuli farmer
My father fell ill so I came back to take over the family business. We’re a farming family. There were some matters that nobody was tending to, so I came back to give it a try.

Just like Chung, Chen Lu-yuen is from out of town. He returned to Fuli Township to work the family fields. When he started, he couldn’t even irrigate the crops. But now he’s brimming with confidence, with his own philosophy on farming.

Chen Lu-yuen
Fuli farmer
After coming back to the country, I found this group of friends. Our motivations and direction in life are quite similar. We’re birds of a feather.

Chung has renovated an abandoned sugar factory here in Fuli. It now houses his offices, rice warehouse and marketing company.

Chung has also started his own music festival. It’s an event not to be missed, and it helps foster community in the rural township. He and his friends call themselves Fuli 983, after the township’s postal code. Together, they’re working hard to build a home for themselves as they work the land.