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Davis Journal

Bangerter farm – the cream of the crop

Aug 19, 2021 10:40AM ● By Becky Ginos

The farm is a family affair. Left to right: Nick, Alan, his wife Diane who passed away in 2019, Bryce and Chuck.

BOUNTIFUL—There’s a lot of work that goes into the produce that ends up on the dinner table and Alan Bangerter knows where it all starts. Bangerter has been working on the family farm since he was a child and knows what it takes to keep it running.

“It was easier back then,” he said. “We worked hard and started before 6. Personally I liked it. I felt like I was making a difference.”

Bangerter attended Tolman Elementary which was about 200 yards from his house. “We worked every day,” he said. “There was always something to do. There were six of us spread out and I was the next to youngest. We didn’t do a lot of outdoor play. There was no such thing as soccer or baseball – there wasn’t time for it.”

The farm dates back to 1902 when Bangerter’s great grandfather Nicklas Bangerter purchased some of the current acreage. Nicklas was a renowned farmer in the Bountiful area. “In 1906, my grandfather Orson N. Bangerter was married and soon built a home on the property and started to farm it as his own,” said Bangerter. “My father Charles W. Bangerter was born on the farm in 1918 and worked on it continually for over 80 years until his death in 1999.”

Alan was born in 1951 and worked with his father who called his operation Chas. W. Bangerter and Sons. “We incorporated in 1973 and started Chas. W. Bangerter & Sons, Inc., our current company.”

In 2000 they found out Legacy Highway would be coming through their farm. “UDOT got 30 acres that were originally by I-15,” said Bangerter. “They did take an additional eight acres for Legacy so they got at total of 38 acres.”

With the money from the sale to UDOT, they were able to purchase 22 acres from an owner in California. “Since that time we have been able to develop that property and our other 46 acres into some of the most productive for vegetable crops in the county and even the whole state,” he said. 

Bangerter’s is well known for its stands but the bulk of their produce goes to retailers. “Ninety percent is at the wholesale level and 10 percent at the stands,” he said. “We set those up so people can come get what they need. We grow little bits of crop to support the stands. We supply half a dozen restaurants. The Mandarin was the first one and our main one. They’ve been supporting us for 30 years.”

They also donate to the food bank three times a week. “We give them our surplus,” said Bangerter. “We delivered over 100,000 pounds to the Bountiful Food Pantry in 2020. What they don’t need they share with other pantries.”

Just like everyone else they had to adjust to the pandemic but it was the wind in September 2020 that really devastated the farm. “It brought everything to a screeching halt,” Bangerter said. “We had very little left. By the time it grew back the frost came earlier.”

Now the drought has hit them hard as well. “We have been watching every drop of water,” he said. “They’re going to shut off Weber water on Sept. 20. I have 15-18 acres that can only go three and a half days without water. It could be nearly as devastating as the wind storm. Eleven days at harvest makes quite a bit of difference to zucchini and yellow squash.”

Up until 2016 we hired local adults and teens to harvest, said Bangerter. “We do two semi loads a day. It got so the teens couldn’t do it so we had to hire more adults. It’s all hand harvested. We don’t have anything that gets itself to market.”