Grant recipients, Kevin & Michell Welch of The Welch Farm, an event and catering venue outside Macksville, recently returned from a Colorado-based business improvement “Destination Bootcamp.” The Welch Farm was among a group of business owners from Kansas who attended the two and one-half day, 20-hour workshop. The grant was funded by the Stafford County Economic Development E-Community Partnership with Network Kansas.
“Destination Boot Camp”, created by the internationally recognized business expert and marketing consultant Jon Schallert, focuses on independent business owners and ideas as to how to reposition their businesses as “consumer destinations” using a 14-step strategy. The principles taught at Destination BootCamp are designed for business owners who want to accelerate their learning curve and receive in-depth instruction, strategies, and specific tactics on how to become a dominant “Destination Business” preferred by customers, both in and beyond Stafford County, Kansas.
The Welch Farm is the first business from Stafford County, Kansas ever to attend the
Kevin & Michell Welch, along with their daughter Megan Welch Schnoebelen, are the visionaries behind the venue. The Welch Farm is a renovated and repurposed barn and pavilion with 5,000 square feet of covered roof. The venue was designed for both personal enjoyment and to host the September 2014 wedding reception of Megan and Kade.Schnoebelen. The property is surrounded by trees to the north and overlooks a tranquil pond to the east and south. Located on the west side of the venue, is a “bunkhouse” built by Mr. Welch and his son-in-law, Kade Schnoebelen in the fall of 2015. The bunkhouse includes a commercial kitchen for the catering portion of the business, public restrooms, a large room that doubles as the “brides room” on wedding day as well as a space to entertain guests for small dinner parties or showers. The bunkhouse is also home to 4 guest rooms. Each room highlights unique re-purposed items in the décor and provides a private bath, a queen bed and a pull-out couch bed. Located adjacent to the barn, is an outdoor chapel that can accommodate the most intimate ceremony or seat up to 350 guests with unlimited standing room.
The Welch Farm, located in rural Stafford County Kansas, 1 ¾ mile south of highway 50 on 140th Avenue, was an abandoned and neglected 1880’s pioneer homestead. Patent Records indicate that homestead certificate, No. 4145, had an application date of March 4, 1885 and was granted a patent record by Grover Cleveland, President of the United States of America. The property was homesteaded by Mr. Rueben Webb and then sold to Mr. and Mrs. D.H. Welch in 1886. The property then transferred to their son, Walter Welch, before it was deeded in 1924 to Michell’s maternal great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Seibert. A June 1880 census reveals that the Webb, Welch and Seibert families relocated to Kansas and were all farmers with Mr. Seibert’s father, Clifford Seibert, coming to Stafford County Kansas in 1882 as a 10-year-old boy to care for his brother’s sheep.
The Welch Farm provides an atmosphere full of rustic grace and is the perfect setting for weddings and receptions. The Welch’s have numerous weddings scheduled in 2018 as well as several in 2019. They are organizing events such as a Women’s Conference (June 16, 2018), Biker’s ride (July 2018), family reunions, “steak night”, murder mysteries, symphonies in the sand and numerous other events to make The Welch Farm a destination location. They are also listed on air B n B and have guests stop from all over the county.
Schallert’s Destination Business Boot Camp is held in Colorado three times annually. Schallert has worked with independent business owners since 1983, speaks to thousands every year, and is the President of The Schallert Group, Inc., Longmont, Colorado. Business owners interested in attending may contact Kevin or Michell Welch at 620-352-0160 for more information on their Boot Camp experience, or to book an event.
Credits: The Welch Farm
From left to right: Cashe McVey, St. John; Roger Ramirez, St. John; Preston Dunn, St. John; Liam Lanterman, St. John, Brianna Banks, St. John; Alassandro Zambarda, Stafford; Caleb Hildebrand, Stafford; Marshall Woolf, Stafford (Not pictured: Jaden Reed, St. John)
Stafford County Economic Development had nine Stafford County students compete in the Central Kansas Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge that took place on Friday, March 16 in Kinsley. 7th through 12th grade students were eligible to participate in this year's event. Five students from St. John competed as a team, one student from St. John and three students from Stafford competed as individuals.
Students were judged on their business idea/concept, a three-page executive summary, and a four-minute formal presentation to a panel of three judges. Individuals and teams competed for a total of $1,750 in cash prizes and their chance to compete at the state competition in April at Kansas State University.
Preston Dunn, 8th grader from St. John-Hudson U.S.D. 350 won first place and a prize of $1,000. Cashe McVey, Jaden Reed, Roger Ramirez, Brianna Banks and Liam Lanterman competed as the Tiger Town Pizza team and won second place with a $500 prize. Rylie Miller from Kinsley High School won third place and $250.
Dunn automatically gets to participate at Kansas State University on April 24th. The other students that competed in the regional event were given the opportunity to submit their executive summary at a chance to fill one of the 14 wildcard slots for the state competition in Manhattan.
Congratulations to all of our Stafford County students for competing in this year's regional event!
Stafford County Economic Development is sponsoring nine Stafford County students to participate in the 3rd annual Central Kansas Youth Entrepreneurship Competition (CKYEC) that will be held at the Kinsley Junior/Senior High School Auditorium. Five of those students are competing as one team, and the other four as individuals. Edwards County Economic Development is hosting this year’s event with the NetWork Kansas E-Community Partnership.
“This year we opened the competition to junior high students,” said Ashlee Bevan, Program Director for Stafford County Economic Development. “We had some interest from some of our students that participate in 4-H that piqued our interest in expanding the age group eligible for participation. We also felt that if a junior high student is ready for a public speaking competition like this, we shouldn’t hold them back from the opportunity to gain the experience.”
Last year, Hodgeman County Economic Development hosted the 2nd annual event at the King Center in Jetmore. $1,750 in cash prizes were awarded. One of the top three business plans was from Stafford High School students promoting their business idea of Scan from the Past.
By Monday, February 26th, each student or team must submit an executive summary through the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Portal online. The competition on Tuesday, March 13th will consist of a four-minute pitch to a panel of judges, followed by questions. The students will be competing against each other for $1,750 in prize money. The 1st place winner will receive $1,000 and a guaranteed spot in the State Competition in Manhattan in April. The 2nd place prize is $500 and 3rd place receives $250. The students’ work will be judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, or other adults. An optional tradeshow competition is available to all participants competing in the day-long event.
This year, students from Edwards, Hodgeman, Ness, Pawnee and Stafford counties are eligible to participate in the event.
The annual YEC series culminates in a statewide championship, where the top students from 31 local competitions will face off against each other for $18,000 in prize money and other honors. The 2018 statewide championship will be held on April 24th in Manhattan at Kansas State University.
For more information visit http://www.edwardscounty.org/YEC, http://www.networkkansas.com/ecommunities/youth/youth-entrepreneurship-challenge, email Ashlee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-549-3527.
Stafford County Economic Development
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