Ten. To some it is a perfect score, to others just another even number; but for Javier Mancha it was the acreage he obtained and worked by hand every day since he returned from the Vietnam War in 1969.

For the U.S. Army 1st Logistical Command veteran it was a cherished portion of God’s green Earth and that sliver of Maverick County, Texas, land on the Mexico border was all he needed to raise and provide for a family over the next four decades.

Humble beginnings

Mancha’s Rosita Valley farm is known for growing some of the hottest peppers and sweetest melons. It is in this fertile valley that Mancha raised and sold enough produce to put four daughters through college, and eventually obtain additional land that now allows him to raise cattle.

“I have always loved to farm,” Mancha says. “I married my wife in 1967 and began my career as a farmer in 1970. Together we have raised cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers, squash, hay grazer and alfalfa.”

Mancha has a sense of family pride that is depicted simply by listening to his story and letting his eyes tell you of his challenges in the agriculture arena.

“Mancha is a rare family name,” he explains. “When my father was 10 years old he came to the U.S. (from Mexico) and he was soon responsible for helping his mother raise a family and provide for his siblings. In 1946, he opened a grocery store in Eagle Pass and worked as a butcher and baker.”

That work ethic is still held in the heart of Mancha’s grandchildren, as they can be seen in the summer months selling their grandfather’s produce at roadside stands.

In 1983 those original 10 acres turned into 40 and Mancha grew to be respected and known for the same high quality and dependability as his crops.