Patrick Gallichio will be honored at the September 22 Los Banos Downtown Association Farm to Table dinner as Farmer of the Year. He has had a long journey in agriculture. Throughout that journey he was supported by, and then gave back to, his community.
Pat, as he is known to colleagues and friends, was born and raised in Los Banos. Growing up, Pat spent his summers on his aunt and uncle’s dairy, playing with his cousins and tending to the cows.
Pat’s mother worked at JC Penney’s and the Los Banos Hardware Store while his father worked at Toscano Grocery Store. In an interview with the Westside Express, Pat said his sweetest memories include watching the town grow as he did.
He attributes his increasing interests in agriculture, and cows in particular, to his early experiences on the dairy. In school he joined 4-H and FFA and became a club leader. Pat graduated from Los Banos High School in 1974 and joined the workforce at Delta Farms cleaning horse stalls.
He decided to further his education by first attending Merced College and then Fresno State University to complete his bachelor’s degree with a major in agronomy and minor in agricultural business, all the while continuing to work at Delta.
Gallichio is now a part-owner and general manager of The Pentagon Company (dba Delta Farms) that was established in 1989. The Pentagon Company is a diversified farming operation that farms approximately 2500 acres of tomatoes, cotton, alfalfa, silage and most recently almonds.
Being a first-generation farmer in his family, Pat was blessed to join an established business that would strengthen his roots in our town and work with farmers of other generations and learn from their experiences.
Integrating traditional farming techniques with new and innovative growing methods, Pat was able to improve efficiency by installing a solar field to reduce energy costs. In addition, he installed permanent irrigation drip systems which improves fertilizer performance and increases overall water use efficiency.
Pat remembers his early days in agriculture, starting with cleaning horse stalls and working in irrigation to driving tractors. “It’s neat to see,” Pat said, “where we started and where we are today, especially with new technologies.”
His experiences with agriculture ignited a passion in Pat to give back to his community. In the same way 4-H enabled his start in agriculture, he wanted other children and young adults to have the same opportunity.
Along with farming full time, Pat volunteers in 4-H and Future Farmers of America, as well as serving on the Merced County Spring Fair Board of Directors, the Spring Fair Heritage Foundation and The Farm Services Agency.
He also served in other aspects of his community as a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, the organization “Because We Care,” the Los Banos Cemetery District and the Independent Order of Oddfellows,
Some of his hobbies include cooking for community functions, fishing, hunting and spending time with his grandchildren.
Not only does he set the precedent for volunteerism, but Pat gives back through his involvement in agriculture and the community at large. He motivates others to get involved in their community, connect with their neighbors and get a start in agriculture. He hopes his influence not only impacts others directly but betters the area for generations to come.
Gallichio is honored to be Farmer of the Year and believes he could not have been successful during his 48 years in agriculture, starting in high school, without the support of his family, his wife Tara, his partners at The Pentagon Company and the surrounding agricultural community.
Pat emphasized the importance of working collaboratively. “We are all in this together” he said, never forgetting his lifelong mentor Aldo Sansoni’s motto “Conserve the Land for It Will Feed You Forever.”