Meet a Farmer: Mark Bacchetti of GloriAnn Farms & Marca Bella Farms
All he’s ever wanted to do is farm, and that passion comes through in the quality of produce he grows! Meet Mark Bacchetti of GloriAnn Farms and Marca Bella Farms. Chances are, you’ve enjoyed corn from his farm, as he produces a million boxes of sweet corn per year!
CA GROWN: Tell me about the history of the company and what your role is.
Mark: As a third generation farmer, my goal was to diversify and continue the legacy my family had provided me- It has truly been a family affair.
My grandparents started out in the 1940’s with a dairy farm. In 1950 my dad decided to grow tomatoes on the dairy’s 40 acres. Not long after, he sold the cows, and focused full time on farming. Eventually, it was me working side by side with my dad, and together we grew the farm from 500 to 2,000 acres, growing asparagus, tomatoes, alfalfa and grains.
In 1996, my wife and I started our own farming operation, Marca Bella Farms. That same year we built a state of the art packing shed to process our 1,200 acres of asparagus. The asparagus season is only 3 months long, so that left the shed idle for 9 months out of the year. I decided to grow sweet corn in order to utilize the shed when we weren’t packing asparagus. Our first order of sweet corn was for 25 boxes that I delivered in my pickup truck. As the corn business grew, it was time to separate the produce company from the farm, so in 1998, Prima Bella Produce was born, and eventually renamed to GloriAnn Farms after my mom. GloriAnn now packs over one million boxes of sweet corn per year.
Over the years, my family has been involved in various aspects of running GloriAnn and also the farm. I am the President of GloriAnn Farms, and my wife and I own and run the business. My son and I work side by side on the farm, Marca Bella, and my wife and daughter work together running the office.
CA GROWN: What does a typical day look like for you?
Mark: I’m up long before the sun, going through emails and checking the weather. Then I head out to make my rounds on the ranch, before heading to GloriAnn, where I’m involved in every aspect of the business from making customer calls, going to tradeshows and traveling to the other farms that grow for us.
CA GROWN: What drew you into the farming profession?
Mark: It’s in my blood. Growing up, I always wanted to be on the ranch with my Dad. Farming is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
CA GROWN: What are some ways you give back to the community?
Mark: I have served on various boards and commissions over the years, including several water boards.
We are also proud supporters of and have donated over the years to both the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF). For the month of August, for every case of corn sold to participating retailers, we donate a portion of our sales to IFHF to support our troops and their families. We’re humbled to say that as of this year, our donations have totaled over $100,000. We do a similar campaign in October benefiting NBCF and promoting breast cancer awareness, and we anticipate exceeding the $100,000 mark when we wrap up this campaign at the end of October.
Within our local community, we also do things for Farm Bureau and the high schools.
CA GROWN: What is your favorite thing about farming?
Mark: Everything. It is my Passion. I love being outside in the fields.
CA GROWN: What are your hobbies or pastimes when you’re not farming?
Mark: Golf, bass fishing in the Delta, and hunting. I have a 4-year-old granddaughter that loves being out on the farm so being able to spend time with her on the farm is very special.
CA GROWN: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a farmer?
Mark: Farming in California is challenging. We need young talent. There are all kinds of jobs in agriculture that young people can get into. There is a place for young, aggressive, smart people that can deal with problems and find solutions.