The story of Fulton Valley Farms
David and Betty Corbin are long time farmers, stockmen, and commodity brokers in central Butler County, and own an original homestead passed down through David’s family since the 1860’s.
Farm uncertainties being what they are, they looked at creating secondary income to help retire farm debt and produce additional income with existing and new facilities. The Corbins developed the idea of having their hay barn used for weddings, group meetings, and celebrations, as well as building an adjacent new facility to house corporate meetings and catered dining events. These buildings were all on the family property south of Towanda where their commodity brokerage business and home were already located. All of the properties are in a wooded, streamed, rolling area with the Whitewater River as a backdrop.
The Corbins joined Kansas Agri-Tourism in 2005. They met with the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) at Emporia State University through the outreach program co-located at Butler County Community College. Dean Claycamp, KSBDC consultant assisted with the development of their business plan and cash flow projections for the new and existing facilities, and assisted with application for a Value-added, Agritourism loan from the Kansas Department of Commerce in 2009. The loan was approved, and their marketing plans to expand their wedding and gathering services were put in place. Since that time, their calendar bookings have continued expanding to where they now have all weekend dates (seasonal) consistently filled for over a year out.
The businesses are a family affair, with children and grandchildren now helping with the operations needed for each of these components.
In 2013 they came up with the idea to offer another tourism attraction, in the form of a large walk through Christmas lighting display in the wooded areas. They provide an overlook deck and limited transportation for customers who cannot walk through the area. A live nativity, concessions, and vendor sales booths are located in the barn and meeting areas, heated for cold weather events.
As part of their expansion, the Corbins have refurbished a five bedroom home and a small amphitheater adjacent to the wooded property for family reunions, concerts, dances and other group gatherings. This family farm is a work in progress and has helped the Corbins to capitalize on the assets of their family farm.
fultonvalleyfarms.com | 316-775-1894
Assisted by Dean Claycamp, KSBDC Consultant | KSBDC at ESU | Andover. ESU KSBDC BCCC Outreach | 316.218.6374 | emporia.edu/sbdc | firstname.lastname@example.org
Represented by Senator Pat Roberts | Senator Jerry Moran | Fed. Dist. #4 – Mike Pompeo | State Sen. Dist.#14 – Forrest Knox | State Rep. Dist.#75 – Will Carpenter