PRINCETON, Kan. (KSHB) – At a time when a lot of farmers in the Midwest are trying to keep their livelihoods afloat, one new farmer has found his niche in Princeton, Kansas, and his business is even going international.
Bob Ralph, known as Farmer Bob, is a first-generation farmer. He has no experience with growing popcorn, until now.
He took a chance and planted 130 acres for his new business, Princeton Popcorn Company.
“We’re expecting a good harvest even despite the large rains we had in the spring,” said Ralph. “Difficult year, and this is my first year having a commercial crop. We planted about 30,000 plants per acre.”
His popcorn will soon be in 90 grocery stores in the Kansas City area, 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, with Loe Studios, Germany.
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. They will sell the popcorn in their chain of movie theaters.
“Easier for me to stand for quality and stand for my own product when I know the guy who just went over the fields and planted it,” said Max Meynigmann, Loe Studios.
“It makes me feel proud, and I think that’s pretty unique for a farmer to know exactly where his food is going,” said Ralph.