35 Years of Great Music & Family Fun

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Deerfield Township Farmer of the Year

and Farm Heritage Award





2008 Farmer of the Year

Forevergreen Tree Farm - The Finley Family




Dave and Trish Finley and family, owners of Forevergreen Tree Farm located on Lebanon Road near Jesse’s Bridge Road in Deerfield Township, have been named as Deerfield Township Farmer of the Year for the 2008 Harvest Festival. “We are pleased to recognize the Finley family for their contributions to agriculture in our community,” commented Mayor Carol Musso. The family will be will be recognized at the Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct.11 as special guests in the festival parade at noon and during an award presentation on the festival’s main stage at 3:45 PM.


Forevergreen Tree Farm was established in 1987 when the first white pine plantations of seedlings were planted. Today, those trees are 30 to 40 feet tall and will someday be harvested for timber. Dave Finley is a Regional Forester for the New Jersey Forest Service. Early in his career, he dreamed of managing his own woodlot. In 1982 he married Trish and moved from Gloucester County to Bridgeton. Four years later in the fall of 1986, along with Dave's parents, David and Barbara, they purchased 22 acres on Lebanon Road.

The property is bordered on both sides by woods with open acreage in the center as years ago it had been farmed for soybeans.
A year later they built their homes and planted two white pine plantations. The existing woodlot is managed for firewood and timber. Five of the open acres became the part of the farm that is planted in Christmas trees. Seven years after planting, the first Christmas tree was cut and sold in 1994. Today there are approximately 4,800 trees growing in all different stages.


The farm is a family affair. Everyone has his or her own job. Trish, who teaches third grade in Downe Township, makes wreaths and jam to sell at Christmas. Barbara has made garland over the years. Although Dave is the "boss", David gets involved in everything from planting to helping customers. The Finley's children, Alicia, 20 and Corey, 17, both help during the holiday season assisting customers, tagging trees and bringing them in. Not only family, but also neighbors and friends are employed during the four to five week harvest of Christmas trees.

Deerfield Township resident, friend and neighbor, Joe Neely, has been working the farm since they opened for business in 1994. Growing the Christmas trees is a year-round job. As soon as the holidays are over, stumps have to be removed or cut below the soil line. Then the new seedlings arrive and are planted. The species that grow best in the sandy soil are Norway and Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine, and Douglas Fir. Next comes weed, insect and disease control followed by shearing and pruning.

The Finley's have hosted educational trips for school groups and local 4H groups. During the years Alicia and Corey attended Deerfield Township Elementary School, their classes were invited for winter and spring field trips. In 1996, Forevergreen Tree Farm has the honor of being selected outstanding tree farm in New Jersey.

2008 Farm Heritage Award

The Late Sam Pipitone of Adamo Pipitone and Sons Farms

2007 Deerfield Farmer of the Year

Cosmo and Angel Paladino – Big Oak Nursery


Farmer of the Year – Paladino Family, left to right: Back Row: Cosmo and Angel’s son
Anthony Paladino, holding son Giacomo Paladino, daughter-in-law Malia Paladino,
Angel Paladino, Cosmo Paladino and front row: Luciano Paladino and Isabella Paladino,


Cosmo and Angel Paladino, owners of Big Oak Nursery on Big Oak Road in Deerfield Township, have been named as Deerfield Township Farmer of the Year.  “We are pleased to recognize the Paladino family for their contributions to agriculture in our community,” commented Mayor John Stanzione.  Cosmo and Angel Paladino and family will be recognized at the Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6 as special guests in the festival parade at noon and during an award presentation on the festival’s main stage at 2:20 p.m. 

Cosmo Paladino was born and raised in Rosenhayn, NJ. His mother and father were the late Jack and Lena Paladino.  He graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1960.  Early jobs included working on the farms of aunt and uncle, Josephine and Frank Paladino and neighbors Sam and Nate Pipitone. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1960.  In 1964, he began working for his aunt and uncle, Tina and Louis Giacalone at the Shoe Center in Vineland, NJ.  Cosmo credits his wife Angel, his children, and many wonderful employees for his 39 years of success as a business owner.

In 1965, he married Angel Sparacio, the daughter of the late Anthony and Mary Sparacio of Rosenhayn, one of the areas’s oldest farming families.  Angel was born and raised in Rosenhayn, worked on the family farm along with her brother Anthony and sisters, Jean and Marie. She graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1961.  They have 2 children, Jacqueline and Anthony.  Anthony’s wife is Malia. Their grandchildren are Luciano, Isabella, and Giacomo, who enjoy visiting and working on the farm.

            In the early 1980’s Cosmo and Angel returned to their farming roots when they purchased a local horse farm and started raising soy beans and barley with the help of their uncle J.V. Sparacio of Parkside Farms.  Fifteen years later, Cosmo made the transition from businessman to full-time farmer.  In 1997, they started Big Oak Nursery with the help of Leroy Smith, who lives nearby and who along with his wife Dorothy, were Deerfield’s farmers of the year in 2006. 

“I had a lot of good coaching from Gap Sparacio, John Visconti, and Jerry Bifulco to help me get into the nursery business,” said Cosmo.  “I thank them for their help.”  Big Oak Nursery raises both container and field-grown varieties of plants and shrubs.  It is a small nursery that, according to the Paladino’s, brings a large amount of joy and pleasure to their family.

            They join the following past farmers as farmers of the year in Deerfield Township:

2006:   Leroy and Dorothy Smith – Highline Farms - Farmer of Year

2006:   Louis Pizzo and Family – Six Point Farms – Farm Heritage Award

2005:   Umberto and Charlotte Bifulco and Family - Bifulco & Sons Farms, Inc.

2004:   Anthony Sparacio Jr. and III and Families – Maple Valley Nurseries

2003:   Morris Gould and Three Oak Farms

2002:   John Visconti, III of Visconti Farms

2001:   Jules and Betsy Perlstein and Family or County Line Nurseries

2000:   Nate Bisconte Farm - Nate and 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:   Levin Farms - Sol and Isaac Levin

1993:   Frank & Vincent Paladino of Paladino Farms

1992:   Joseph and Anna Sparacio of Parkside Farms

1991:   Sam, Frank and Dom Buono of Buono Farms






2006 Deerfield Farmer of the Year


2006 Deerfield Farm Heritage Award


Mayor Charlotte Brago of Deerfield Township and Roy Spoltore, Chairman of the Deerfield Township Recreation Committee jointly announce the selection of LeRoy and Dorothy Smith of High Line Farm Nursery as the Deerfield Township Farm of the Year.

            In order to recognize those who made significant contributions to agriculture in Deerfield and in the region over the years but may have stopped farming before the farmer of the year awards began in 1991, the Recreation Committee and Township Committee created a new award – Deerfield Township Farm Heritage Award.

“We are pleased to recognize LeRoy and Dorothy Smith and their family as the farmers of the year who will be recognized at the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7,” said Spoltore.  “We are also happy to name Louis and Josephine Pizzo and family of the former Six Point Farms as our first recipients of the farm heritage award.” 

            “On behalf of the Township Committee, the Recreation Committee and the people of Deerfield, I congratulate the Smith family who since moving to Deerfield Township in 1979, have lived up to this community’s farming tradition earmarked by hard work, respect and family,” said Mayor Brago.

            “I also extend our congratulations to Louis and Josephine Pizzo, who began farming on their own in 1939, developing one of New Jersey’s largest and most successful vegetable farms that played a very significant part in the history of farming in Deerfield Township and in New Jersey,” Mayor Brago added.

            The recognition of the Smith and Pizzo families will include participation in the Festival Parade on Sat., Oct. 7 at noon and presentation of the awards and other recognition by local, state and national representatives at the festival’s main stage on Sat., Oct. 7 at 2:25 PM.


Louis and Josephine Pizzo (left photo) and LeRoy and Dorothy Smith (right photo)

LeRoy Smith was born in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. He spent a lot of time as a boy on his grandfather’s farm in Colts Neck where he helped plant and harvest produce.  His love of farming began there.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Cop and served in Korea with the first Marine division. Upon returning from Korea, he became a carpenter and that became his career until he retired.

In 1979, LeRoy and his wife bought part of the Phil and Mary Danna farm on Big Oak Road in Deerfield Township and he and his family moved here.  The first crops they grew were okra and grain.

Later High Line Farms as the farm was known turned to growing nursery stock.  They began with liner crops of Rhododendrons and Azaleas grown in greenhouses.  They moved to growing the same crops but in containers which were grown in holding houses in the fields.  Today, the Smith’s main crop is Forsythia.

“We are happy we made the move to Rosenhayn.  We raised our children here and enjoyed working the farm together as a family,” commented Mr. Smith. He added proudly that the children, LeRoy, II, Dorothy and Eleanor graduated from college, have successful careers and have blessed them with eight grandchildren.

LeRoy II is married to Diane Cruzan and they have three children, Jacob, Melissa and Megan.  Dorothy is married to Jack Mihalecz and they have three children, Jacob, Joshua and Luke.  Eleanor is married to Dane Weiss and they have a son, Ethan.

The story of Six Point Farms begins in December 1916 when Louis Pizzo, the first son of Dominic and Jennie was born in Philadelphia. Six months later the family moved to Rosenhayn.

Louis attended the local grammar school in Carmel and graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1937. He worked on the family farm until 1938 when he married Josephine Traina. In 1939 he began farming on his own with 20 acres of land.

What started as a 20-acre farm back in 1939 turned into a modern 3,500-acre operation known as Six Points Produce, Inc. Lou was always proud of the fact that many family, friends and community members helped him to accomplish this achievement.

Throughout his 50-year farming career, he farmed various vegetable crops such as asparagus, tomatoes, onions strawberries, peppers, string beans and iceberg lettuce. Some memorable single day production totals were; strawberries 3,500 crates, string beans 6,000 bushels and iceberg lettuce 11,000 boxes.

All of this produce was sold at either the Cedarville Auction or Vineland Produce Auction.  Mr. Pizzo, who spent many long hours plowing behind a horse, turned his farm into one of the most technologically advanced farms on the east coast.

The family grew over the years as well. Louis and Josephine, now married 68 years, are the parents of four, grandparents of thirteen and great grandparents of twenty-one.

Mr. Pizzo always maintained a strong interest in farming and in his community. This led to his association with the Federal Land Bank where he served as a Director for 34 years and its President for 25. He was a Director of the Production Credit Association from 1960 to 1982. He also served as a past Chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Agriculture as well as the Small Fruits Council.

Governor Hughes appointed him to the State Migrant Labor Board in 1963. In 1972 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Farmers & Merchants National Bank.

He served his community as a member of the Deerfield Township Planning Board and was elected to the Board of Education 15 consecutive years. Mr. Pizzo was also elected to the Deerfield Township Committee for a period of 17 years, 11 of which he served as Mayor. A former trustee of St. Mary's Church in Rosenhayn, he was also a Fourth Degree member of The Knights of Columbus, Bishop John Carroll, General Assembly. The Augustinians and St. Augustine Preparatory School presented Mr. Pizzo with the prestigious Gregor Mendel Award for his dedication to family and community.

Louis Pizzo and his family’s accomplishments in farming and community endeavors reflect the type of motivation and drive shared by Deerfield Township farmers past and present.


2005 Deerfield Farmer 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.

Deputy 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.

"We are 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.

 “On 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 Violet Grace.


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.


Anthony Sparacio Jr. and Anthony Sparacio III, along with their family, own and

operate Maple Valley Nursery in Rosenhayn , New Jersey .  They and their families have been named Deerfield Township Farmer of the Year. Maple Valley Nursery is a

155 acre family-operated, wholesale container operation that grows plants and shrubs for landscapers and garden centers throughout the eastern United States .


In 1908, Anthony Jr.’s grandparents, Gasper and Jennie Sparacio, made the long

voyage from Italy to New York City .  After one year of working in New York City at various jobs, Gasper Sparacio purchased a farm on Parvin’s Mill Road in Rosenhayn , New Jersey , 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 ( Lena ) and four sons, Sam, Tony, Nate, and Joe.


On 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 have today).



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 cucumber packing.


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 Elmer Hospital .  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 Mullica Hill , New Jersey .  One year later, on Dec. 2, 1979 , Anthony Jr. and Mandy were married.


While still farming with his dad, Anthony Jr. and Mandy purchased a seven acre

farm from the late Dominick and Marion Pizzo on Maple Street 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 Bridgeton Avenue 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 Cumberland Regional High School .  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 Cumberland Regional High School , 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 on to Cumberland County College 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.


The Sparacio family was and still is dedicated to their community.  Anthony Sr.

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 church groups.


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.


Mandy, besides 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 Cumberland Regional High school , and is now a senior at Rowan University .  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 senior at Cumberland Regional High School , 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 Deerfield Township Elementary School .  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.



2003 Farmer of the Year - Morris Gould of Carmel