of the Year
U. Bifulco & Sons Farms, Inc.
“Love of Farming and Love of Family Are
Keys to Their Success”
Umberto & Charlotte Bifulco &
Family will be recognized as Deerfield Township Farmers of the Year. The award
presentation is set for Sun., Oct. 9 at 2:50 PM on festival’s main stage. The
Bifulco Family is pictured left-right: Gennaro George, II, Lisa Ann, Charlotte,
Jerry, Theresa, Umberto, Jr., Michael (Mickey), Umberto Joseph, Kathleen
Charlotte, Jennifer, Kathy, Bert, III, Umberto, IV and closest to the camera in
front, Michael II and Violet Grace.
Mayor Charlotte Brago of Deerfield Township and Roy Spoltore, Chairman of the
Deerfield Township Recreation Committee have jointly announced the selection
Bifulco Farms as the Deerfield Township Farmer of the Year.
pleased to recognize Umberto and Charlotte Bifulco and their family as the
farmers of the year who will be recognized at the Deerfield Township Harvest
Festival.” said Spoltore.
behalf of Mayor Carol Musso and the Township Committee, the Recreation Committee
and the people of Deerfield, I congratulate the Bifulco family who demonstrate
that innovation, hard work, love of farming and love of family are keys to this
farm’s success,” said Deputy Mayor Brago.
Though their farm offices are in
neighboring Pittsgrove Township, U. Bifulco & Sons Farms, Inc. and the Bifulco
family, headed by Umberto Bifulco, Jr. and Charlotte Bifulco, have been
significant members of the farming community here for 35 years, currently
farming 300 acres, about half of that in the northern part of Deerfield Township
on land located along Parvins Mill and Big Oak Roads.
Their current crops
include cabbage, green leafy vegetables such as swisschard, dandelion, escarole,
rappini and arrugula and herbs such as dill and parsley.
Umberto Bifulco, Jr. (Bert) was born
on Staten Island, N. Y. and attended schools there. He worked on the family farm
that his parents started in 1929 after coming from Naples, Italy. Bert branched
out and owned a fruit and vegetable market and also had a commission house in
the New York City Produce Market with his brother.
In 1970 he moved to New Jersey with
his wife Charlotte, who had been working at Dun and Bradstreet in New York
before working in the vegetable market. Along with their 3 young sons, Umberto
III (Bert) Gennaro (Jerry) and Michael (Mickey) they continued in the farming
industry settling here in South Jersey. After moving here Bert found it very
difficult being away from his family and friends and thought of returning to
Staten Island. After several months he finally was able to settle in and call
New Jersey his home.
Bert and Charlotte raised their sons
here on the farm, U. Bifulco & Sons Farms Inc., and they grew with the business,
branching out delivering their produce on their own trucks, U, G. M. Transport
Inc., and also became produce buyers, Bifulco Farms, Inc., at the Vineland
Produce Auction, later adding Bifulco's Four Seasons Cold Storage Inc., to keep
their produce fresh.
Bert III is married to Kathy (Consalo)
and they have 2 children - Umberto IV and Kathleen Charlotte. Jerry is married
to Theresa (Sparacio) and they have 3 children - Lisa Ann, Gennaro George II and
Umberto Joseph. Jerry, Theresa and family are Deerfield Township residents.
Mickey is married to Jennifer (Pizzo) and they have 2 children, Michael II and
Farming has long been an honored
tradition in the Bifulco Family and has been passed down for three generations.
Today, Bert's sons are working to expand their father's produce business with
the hope that some of their children will become the fourth generation to
continue this farming tradition.
Diversity of crops, expansion into
several aspects of the farming business, innovation in marketing and operations,
and love of farming and family are the keys to this farm’s success.
The Bifulco family will be honored
guests in the harvest festival parade on Sunday, Oct 9 and they will be
recognized by Township Committee and County, State and Federal officials at the
festival’s main stage at 2:50 PM on Oct. 9.
Jr. and Anthony Sparacio III, along with their family, own and
Valley Nursery in
. They and their families have been
named Deerfield Township Farmer of the Year. Maple Valley Nursery is a
family-operated, wholesale container operation that grows plants and shrubs for
landscapers and garden centers throughout the eastern
In 1908, Anthony
Jr.’s grandparents, Gasper and Jennie Sparacio, made the long
New York City
. After one year of working in
New York City
at various jobs, Gasper Sparacio purchased a farm on Parvin’s
, along with his two brothers Guiseppe (Joe) and Ignazius (Nate).
After a few years, each brother bought their own farm in Rosenhayn and
began farming with their own family. Gasper farmed with his wife Jennie and
daughter, Angelina (
) and four sons, Sam, Tony, Nate, and Joe.
April 10, 1939
, Anthony Sr. (Tony) married Mary Bisconte of Rosenhayn. Tony began farming on
his own raising tomatoes, peppers, string beans, and strawberries with his wife
Mary. For extra income, he did
custom plowing and disking with a 1939 John Deer H farm tractor (which we still
Tony and Mary
had four children—three daughters, Jean, Angel, Marie and
one son Anthony
Jr. As time went on, they expanded
their farming operation to include produce buying and brokerage and contract
In 1974, after
graduating college with a business degree, Anthony Jr. began to
take over his
dad’s operation and along with vegetables and packing, expanded to include
trucking and grain. On
December 2, 1978
, Anthony Jr. went to visit a good friend and fellow farmer, John Visconti Jr,
who was a patient at the
. It was here that he met his future
wife, Amanda (Mandy) Damminger, who was a nurse at the hospital, and also lived
on an apple/peach farm in
. One year later, on
Dec. 2, 1979
, Anthony Jr. and Mandy were married.
farming with his dad, Anthony Jr. and Mandy purchased a seven acre
farm from the
late Dominick and Marion Pizzo on
in Rosenhayn, where
they built their
home and began another farming operation of their own. One year later, they
purchased a fifty acre farm on
from Anthony’s Uncle Pete Sparacio. As
time went on, they purchased other farms in the area. Anthony and Mandy have
four children-- Anthony III,
MaryAnne, Joseph V. and Michael.
As Anthony III
grew up on the farm, he worked alongside his dad and his Pop-pop Tony, learning
the farming business. Suddenly on
Mary 31, 1992, Anthony Sr. passed away.
At this point Anthony Jr., along with his oldest son, Anthony III,
continued with their agricultural heritage. At age 15, Anthony III became a
member of the FFA (Future Farmers of America) at
. That was where he gained interest
in the Nursery Industry and felt that it would fit into our family operation, as
we already had the land, equipment and irrigation.
With just five, 100 feet holding houses, and lots of hard work, Maple
Valley Nursery began.
As a Senior at
, Anthony III served at President of
the FFA and was well on his way to being a nurseryman.
During the start-up stage of the Nursery, everyone in the family helped
out, even Anthony III’s Grand mom Mary. She
would always be seen propagating plants and cooking lunch for everyone. On
October 30, 1999
, after a brief illness, Grand mom Mary Sparacio sadly passed away.
Anthony III went
to obtain an Associate Degree in Ornamental Horticulture, while still working
on the nursery. With the help of his
operations manager, Barbara (Bobby) Fixler, Nathaniel Glass, who worked for the
family for 52 years, cousin, Joe A. Sparacio, and Dickie Keller, the nursery
continues to grow and prosper.
family was and still is dedicated to their community.
served as a 49
year member of the Rosenhayn Volunteer Fire Company.
He was a past
Member of the
Deerfield Township Board of Education for 18 years and a past member of the
Township Zoning Board, as well as on the Advisory Board of the Farmers and
Merchants National Bank. Mary was active in the Fire Company’s Ladies
Auxiliary, and past president of The Deerfield Township PTA, as well as local
Anthony Jr. is a
32 year member of the Rosenhayn Volunteer Fire and Rescue, where he has served
as past Rescue Captain, EMT and Volunteer Fireman.
He served twelve years on the
Deerfield Township Board of Education and is a past Director of Farmers and
Merchants National Bank.
being a nurse and mother, is also a member and EMT with the Rosenhayn Volunteer
Fire and Rescue since 1991, and member of the Fire company’s Ladies Auxiliary,
since 1985. Anthony III also is a member of the Rosenhayn Volunteer Fire and
Rescue, serving as an EMT and Fire fighter, and past rescue captain.
Besides being a Nurseryman, Anthony III is an Officer with the Cumberland
County Sheriff’s Department.
MaryAnne was a
past president of the Future Farmers of America while at
, and is now a senior at
. She will graduate in May 2005 with
a degree in Elementary Education. She
helps with the bookkeeping and marketing on the nursery.
Joseph V. is a
, and is a member of the Rosenhayn Volunteer Fire and Rescue.
He helps on the farm with truck driving and tractor work.
Michael is in
the sixth grade at
. He likes to help out and is
learning a lot from his big brothers.
The Sparacio family attends St. Mary’s Church in Rosenhayn and are
proud to be a part of their community and honored to be selected as the 2004
Farmer of The Year by the Deerfield Township Recreation Committee.
Farmer of the Year - Morris
Gould of Carmel