History of Farmers Corner

Farmers Corner’s humble beginnings began in 1931 across from the current location on 200 S Hwy 27 in Burley, Idaho by the Kelly Family who later sold it in 1938 to the Pace family only to sell the business to Lawrence and Donna Burch a couple short years later. The original Farmers Corner built their business around used farm equipment, gas, and small farm supply. Over the next 7 years, the Burch Family saw an opportunity elsewhere and decided to sell the family business to Wayne and Loleta May.

Wayne and Loleta saw a different vision for Farmers Corner by providing more grocery store items, bottled drinks, cooked food, and continue offering some of the original services, gas, farm supply, and bulk oil. Under the ownership of the Downs family, Farmers Corner flourished thanks to the loyal farmers and friends in the area.

The current Farmers Corner location was opened in 1953 with a lot of the residents, family, and friends. The new building was completed in under 6 weeks of construction. This move allowed the May family to sell more products and services and continue to grow the business. A new service that was added in 1956 was the addition of a full time fresh meat butcher catering to the needs of the local farmers.  As time moved on, Wayne wanted to pursue more opportunities in the cattle business to fulfill a long-time desire and it was decided to sell the business to Jay Schofield. This allowed Wayne to move towards new opportunities with the purchase of Valley Livestock Commission Company located in Rupert, Idaho.

Jay took over the business in 1963, eleven years after the May family built up the local business. Not a lot of change occurred during this time but in 1980 Jay sold the business to Roger Holbrook and Gary Child, with Roger remaining as the sole owner of the business.

A few short year later in April of 1984, Lonnie and Gay Dawn (May) Downs purchased Farmers Corner from Roger and it was back in the May family. While going up, Gay worked at Farmers Corner for Jay Schofield. After 21 years, Lonnie and Gay decided to move their family from Nampa back to Burley to run this family business.

As the Downs family worked with the store, business continued to grow. This was an exciting time for the Downs family to see old friends and to make many new friends. The Downs brought in several canning items for local residents to can their own fruits and vegetables, and increased their in-store offerings with a full deli and catering business.

After 33 years of ownership – the longest in Farmers Corner history – the Downs sold their business to Jason and Emily Pollard in April of 2017. Jason originally grew up in Burley and has a vested interest in the local growth of the community. They are excited to come back to the Burley area and continue to provide the hometown experience to the local farmers, residents, and neighbors in the area.

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