The Smith family Ranch honors the American tradition of Farming and Ranching unique to the development and values of this great country. Ted and Donna Smith have lived and raised their sons, Colt and Dakota Smith, on their beef cattle ranch, located on Moore Road in Lakeland Florida, since 1980. Today, four generations of Smith ranchers have worked the land at The Smith Family Ranch.
The family legacy of ranching began with Ted’s late father, L.M. Smith. L.M. Smith was an influential contributor to Polk County’s dairy production industry for decades. Ted and his 3 brothers grew up working for the family dairy on Wilkinson Road and Tom Costine Road. Ted recalls the sense of pride his father instilled within his brothers and himself, as they learned the agricultural industry shoulder to shoulder with their father. Today, Ted looks on with pride as he sees his sons raising their families, the next generation of Smith’s, on the family homestead.
The Smith family personifies the true meaning of perseverance by forging new trails to continue living off the land. Throughout the years, regardless of the changing economic climate, the Smith’s have innovatively remained a family owned and operated agricultural business. When the economy shifts, cattle prices drop, and neighbors begin selling off their land to developers, the Smith’s confidently endure the changing tides.
For nearly 25 years the family ranch focused on utilizing their land for a cow calf operation and a St. Augustine Floratam sod production farm. The changing economy in 2009 negatively impacted the ranch. Rather than buckle under the pressure of change to the market, the family innovatively pursued a new direction.
Agritourism was growing in popularity during this time. Ted and Donna knew they needed to make a financial change and welcomed the idea of sharing their love for agriculture with the surrounding community through agritourism. Agritourism is still a growing industry which invites the public to visit and enjoy the unique qualities found on open ranches and farms throughout America. Agritourism allows the visitors to gain first hand experiences related to cattle ranching, horticulture, agricultural machinery, and much more.
The Smith Family established CornFusion Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch in 2010. Over the past 9 years they have overcome many obstacles to make CornFusion a successful agricultural experience and a staple Fall event within the community. Corn
Fusion Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch has continued to expand and offer a variety of farm life experiences, making a visit to CornFusion a cherished memory.
Donna says her favorite part of the event is, “seeing families get together, and enjoy the land we have cultivated for over 35 years. Watching families pick a pumpkin and walk through the maze is about being together as a family. We are a family run business and love seeing the joy our event brings to our visitors.” Good ole fashioned family activities are what you can expect to find when you visit CornFusion at the Smith Family Ranch. The CornFusion Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch is open (weather permitting) every weekend during the month of October.
Since the initial success of the CornFusion Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch, the family decided to share their land, yet again, by converting one of their barns into an event venue on their property. The venue is available for weddings, parties, gatherings, reunions, and corporate events. The Smith Family Ranch barn is beautifully decorated and positioned to offer the most breathtaking view of the ranch. You are likely to see wildlife, such as wild turkeys, hogs, and whitetail deer, along with Ted and Donna’s cattle herd and unique livestock collection.
This year the Smith family is excited to reach the nine-year anniversary of CornFusion and the 5-year anniversary of their barn venue. Donna says, “We could not be more thankful to the sponsors who make it possible to open the maze up to charities, such as GAP Families: Grandparents as children.” CornFusion hosts many group events of this nature as well as honoring all military, law enforcement, and first responders with free admission. The Smith family feel this is one small way they can do their part to give back to the community who visits their property annually. “Watching families make memories and enjoy our beautiful property is a testament to our legacy as family owned and operated ranch.”