Dino Cortopassi, Farmer/Entrepreneur/Philanthropist; and
Wetlands Preservation Foundation CEO
From the age of 10 onward (1947), Dino spent school vacations working on his father’s and partner’s farm in the Delta. After graduating from University of California, Davis in 1958, Dino spent the next three years buying grain from Delta farmers while beginning to tenant farm row crops east of Stockton.
In 1972, Dino rented his first Delta farm (1,000 acres) located on Brack Tract. Over the next 45 years, that Delta beginning grew into 5,400 owned acres on Brack Tract and Canal Ranch.
Beginning in 1992, Dino began converting 350 acres of prime farmland on Brack Tract into a wetlands habitat (now known as “The Black Hole,”) which later was expanded to 750 acres. Over the past 25 years, three Cortopassi-funded tenant farming companies and two non-profit foundations (Cortopassi Family Foundation / Wetlands Preservation Foundation) have created a successful model of long-term Delta sustainability, combining for-profit agriculture and wildlife-friendly practices.