Supplement to “Sowing Seeds for Tomorrow’s Harvest”
Christian Way Farm near Hopkinsville, which now specializes in hands-on educational activities to teach children about agriculture, has been in Milton Corley’s family for nearly a century. Guy Corley, Milton’s grandfather, purchased the first piece of the property in the early 1920s after returning from service in World War I. In the ensuing years, he continued to buy additional parcels as they became available, eventually enlarging the farm to more than 300 acres. He operated a traditional family farm, raising corn, tobacco, wheat, cattle, sheep, pigs, and fowl.
Guy’s son, Edwin Corley, also farmed, but found that it did not produce enough income to meet the needs of his family, which included six children now scattered throughout Kentucky and the United States.
Unlike his siblings, son Milton retained a deep love for agriculture, although watching his father work two jobs convinced him that operating a family farm was not a viable career option. Before his death in 1973, Guy Corley deeded a portion of his farm to Milton, who earned a degree from Western Kentucky University and lived in Bowling Green, staying in touch with his farming roots by managing Jackson’s Orchard.
Milton and his wife, Janie, gradually developed a plan for turning his grandfather’s farm into a relaxing getaway for families and an educational experience for children. His father deeded the remainder of the farm to Milton and the Corleys; the property was christened Christian Way Farm in January 1998.
Milton cleared long-abandoned fields, repaired fences, planted corn, peach trees, pumpkins, and other crops, and in 1999 brought his family to live in a newly constructed house at the farm, becoming the third generation of his family to work the land his grandfather had purchased more than eight decades earlier.
To read the Kentucky Living January 2006 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Sowing Seeds for Tomorrow’s Harvest