First-generation Kansas farmer finds a niche for growing popcorn


PRINCETON, Kan. (KSHB/NBC) – It’s never too late to get in the farming business. At least, that was the case for one Kansas man who found his calling growing popcorn.

Now this first generation farmer’s products are popping up overseas.

At a time when a lot of farmers in the Midwest are trying to keep their livelihoods afloat, one new farmer found his niche here in Princeton, Kansas. And his business is even going international.

Bob Ralph, Colin Germesin and Max Meynigmann in Ralphs popcorn field in Princeton, Kan.

Bob Ralph, known as Farmer Bob, is a first generation farmer. No experience with popcorn until now. He took a chance and planted 130 acres for his new business.

“We’re expecting a good harvest even despite the large rains we had in the spring. difficult year, and this is my first year having a commercial crop. We planted about 30,000 plants per acre,” said Farmer Bob.

His popcorn will soon be in 90 grocery stores in the metro, but it was his surprise partnership with two German entrepreneurs that created a market for his product.

“In whole of Germany we sell about 4,400 tons of popcorn for cinemas so I think we can get into this market with good market share,” said Colin Germesin, Entrepreneur.

Colin Germesin and Max Meynigmann are in Kansas for the first time to see the crops, before Farmer Bob harvests 200 tons of popcorn and ships it to them to sell in their chain of movie theaters in west Germany, near Cologne.

“Easier for me to stand for quality and stand for my product when I know the guy who went over the fields and planted it,” said Max Meynigmann. “Makes me feel proud. And I think that’s pretty unique for a farmer to know exactly where his food is going.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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