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His Toys Create Fun For Farm Visitors
Sandbox toys don’t typically attract folks over 5-ft. tall. But an adult-size digging tool caught my attention after dining in a remodeled corn bin at Choice Farm Market in Webberville, Mich., which sells locally grown food and has a corn maze and other agritourism activities.
The tractor seat was comfortable and swiveled, and it was fun to move the handles to operate the mini excavator bucket to move sand and toys.
“Why should the kids have all the fun?” asks Donald Courville. He builds the diggers and other agritourism products when he’s not working at his own business, Cajun Country Corn, in Louisiana.
He first made smaller diggers for children, then added the adult versions when customers requested them so parents and their kids could dig together.
“Everything we build is heavy duty. I use square tubing to give it strength and 14-gauge and 11-gauge steel,” Courville says.
Though not listed on the business website, he still builds the diggers on request. Agritourism businesses also know him for his corn cannons, the first product he made 23 years ago. They shoot ammunition that maze owners have plenty of - ears of corn. Later, he made cannons to shoot apples for orchard owners.
But his barrel trains are the most popular. Colorfully painted by his wife Vicki, Courville has made cow trains, bee trains, and other customized trains, with each barrel featuring a clever name.
His largest items are people-moving wagons that look like grain wagons. They are built low to the ground and include models for wheelchair accessibility.
The Courvilles farmed 1,400 acres for 30 years before going full-time into agritourism and making products. It’s important to make things fun, he says. “That’s what makes an agritourism business successful.”
Focus on making people happy,” he advises agritourism owners. “If you do that, the money will come. Agritourism has been satisfying, and to see children and their parents having fun warms my heart.”
“I’ll be 70 in January, and my wife will be 69. Customers should order soon because we’re looking to retire,” he concludes with a laugh.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cajun Country Corn, 14162 Peairs Rd., Zachary, La. 70791 (ph 225-610-2184; louisianamaze@hotmail.com; www.cajuncountrycorn.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6