Betty Corbin of Towanda knows what a unique situation she is in. She lives with her husband David on a farm that is now 160 years old — and the couple has been able to retire from crop farming while not leaving the farm.
Those roots run deep. Fulton Valley Farms was homesteaded in 1869, Fulton Valley Farms has been continuously owned and operated by members of the original Fulton family.
“My husband is fifth generation,” Betty Corbin said. “The land was homesteaded by Samuel and Sara Jane Fulton. My husband’s grandmother was a Fulton. … They were some of the first settlers in the area.”
The family farmed the ground until about 2009, when the Corbins began concentrating on being an event venue. The farm ground they still own, Betty said, is being rented to other farmers.
That change, she said, has been good for the Corbins and good for the farm.
“It has been amazing. We average 60 to 70 weddings a year. We were able to transition,” Betty said. “It has been a great retirement time for us and we have really enjoyed it. We have met people from all over the world ... here in this little place in the middle of nowhere.”
Fulton Valley will roll out the red carpet next month as the launching point of the Butler County Farm Bureau Association’s fourth annual Farm to Fork Tour & Dinner on July 11.
At Fulton Valley, tour participants will take bus trips to other farms in Butler County. In the evening there will be a meal served at Fulton Valley, featuring a menu of locally sourced foods.
“People are getting too far away from the farm,” Betty said. “For them, food comes from the back of the store. They need to know where their food comes from, who is growing it and how safe it is.”
In the past the tour has gone to tomato farms, grain farms, cattle farms in the Flint Hills and other unique farm operations in Butler County
The event is a fundraiser for the Ag in the Classroom program and high school senior scholarships hosted by Butler County Farm Bureau Association. BCFBA is a non-profit organization made up of farmers and ranchers and their families who work hard to feed the world and educate consumers on behalf of their industry.
In 2016 the event won the Kansas New Horizons Award and received the County of Excellence Award for the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national award.
This year the event begins, and ends, at Fulton Valley. Currently owned and operated by David and Betty Corbin, fifth generation family, Fulton Valley Farms is now home to the Boot Scootin' Barn, The Woods Conference Center, and Dash*Away Reindeer. The Corbin's, along with their family, also continue to operate this real working heritage farm nestled between clear streams and acres of growing crops.
There is an all-day option for the tour — using buses for a “staycation” across Butler County It’s designed as a day of learning about and experiencing agriculture operations that produce foods, fuels, pharmaceuticals, and fibers.
2019 Farm to Fork Tour and Dinner
Tour - $40
8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Buses Depart
Noon - Locally Produce Lunch
3 p.m. Pasture Picnic
5 p.m. Buses Return
Dinner - $45
5:30 p.m. Mixer
6 p.m. Chef Prepared Locally Produced Best of Butler Feast
Full Day Event Passes - $75
For more information, call or text 316-320-3166 or email ButlerFB@KFB.org.