From it's founding in 1979, the Harvest Festival included recognition of farmers in the Township. They are a big part of the history of this rural, agriculture community and play an important part in the economy and in the future. Farms contribute significantly to the quality of life found here. In 2018, all past farmers of the year were honored on stage and in the parade.
In the 1970s, Sam Pipitone Jr., deeply rooted in southern New Jersey’s farming and family traditions, followed his grandfather and father’s footprints joining the family-owned farming business in Rosenhayn. By 1981, Sam founded F&S Produce Co., taking the next step beyond just growing produce. That decision has become a success story for the area, adding to the township’s proud history of farming and farm-related business. Starting from zero, F&S currently processes over 120 million pounds of fruits and vegetables, sourcing locally when available.
This year, under the leadership his son, Sam III, F&S Produce returned to its family-farming roots and began its own vegetable farming division, growing produce used in its production to make it a true Farm-to-Fork operation.
Today, F&S is comprised of three processing plants - two located in Rosenhayn and one in Vineland. With the purchase of the former Progresso plant in Vineland in 2017, F&S added an additional 550,000 sq. ft. to its operation for a total of 675,000 sq. ft. Sam also owns Pipco Transportation, a 50-plus truck operation which delivers refrigerated and frozen products throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. He bought the former LoBiondo Trucking facility in Rosenhayn for this operation and to serve as Pipco’s transportation headquarters, which includes a Truck Service Center on Landis Avenue.
Mid-Eastern Cold Storage, a 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse with capabilities that include blast freezing and frozen storage located in Vineland, was added to provide cold storage space for F&S in 2009. All three companies combine to be a leader in innovation of new techniques in processing, fulfilling, and exceeding food safety regulations. By working with local, national and international growers, F&S ensures consistent quality in its produce year-round, with multiple quality checkpoints built into the processing system from receiving to final product delivery.
DEERFIELD TWP. FARMS OF YEAR
2019: Farm / Ag Business of the Year: F & S Produce
2018: All Past Farmers of the Year and Farm Heritage Award winners were recognized.
2017: Cedar Rose Vineyards - Dustin Tarpine, Steven Becker, Robert Becker, Sam Pipitone and Dom Romano, Partners
2016: DiFranco Nursery, LLC - Rosolino and Charles DiFranco & Family
2015: Southwind Vineyard & Winery- Lorre Allen & Joseph Riley
2014: Ned’s Honey, LLC – Ned & Doris Morgan
2012: Vernon Smith & Family - Chris Smith's Tree Farm
2011: Joe Olsen - J & J Family Green Houses
2010: Sal Tedesco - Sunnyside Farms
2009: Double J Farms, John Molinelli & Jim Simoni
2008: Dave and Patricia Finley - Forevergreen Tree Farm
2007: Cosmo and Angel Paladino - Big Oak Nursery
2006: Leroy and Dorothy Smith - Highline Farms
2005: Umberto and Charlotte Bifulco and Family Bifulco Farms
2004: Anthony Sparacio Jr. & III Families - Maple Valley Nurseries
2003: Morris Gould - Three Oak Farms
2002: John Visconti, II - Visconti Farms
2001: Jules and Betsy Perlstein and Family - County Line Nurseries
2000: Nate Bisconte Farm - Nate & Verna Bisconte
1999: Wenger Farms - Jim and Barbara Wenger
1998: Pellegrino Benny LaSala
1997: Gasper P. Sparacio
1996: Anthony G. Pipitone
1995: Nate Sparacio and Sons
1994: Saul and Isaac Levin & Family - Levin Farm
1993: Frank & Vincent Paladino & Family - Paladino Farms
1992: Joseph and Anna Sparacio & Family - Parkside Farms
1991: Sam, Frank and Dom Buono and Families - Buono Farms
FARM HERITAGE AWARDS:
2009: Frank &, Dom Buono and Families - Buono Farms
Frank & Josephine Paladino and Family - Paladino Farms
Joseph V. Sparacio and Family - Parkside Farms
2008: Sam and Millie Pipitone and Family - Adamo Pipitone & Sons Farm
2007: Louis Pizzo and Family - Six Point Farms