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2002/04/09


Canale Farms Celebrates 15th Year In Fayette County Canale Farms Corporate Events, a leading facility for local and regional corporate events are celebrating the 15th year of operations in western Fayette County, Tennessee. Fifteen years ago when young Memphis attorney Drew Canale and his wife Allison moved from Midtown to rural Fayette County, they never imagined they would be stirring bar-b-que sauce for a living. Canale, although raised in Midtown Memphis is no stranger to Fayette County. He spent most of his boyhood in the late 60's and 70's on the family farm not far from the Canale Farms today. Drew and his brothers built up the "Hickory Withe" farm, as it was called, on weekends and summers with not much to work with. "My dad former State Senator Drew Canale, was so tight we actually had to tear an old barn down in Germantown and haul it on an old wagon to the farm and rebuild it board by board", Canale reported. The young man fell in love with Fayette County and during college and law school longed to get back to the wide open spaces. Drew and his wife Allison after meeting on a blind date, made plans to leave their good jobs and the fast pace of city life and sell everything they owned for a life in Fayette County. After searching for months for a piece of land they found a spot with an old real estate sign laying in a ditch. After tracing down the true owners the Canales purchased what is today Canale Farms, about a mile north of Macon, Tennessee. For years the farm prospered as an equestrian facility, and many remember the farm as one of the most popular horse ranches in the Mid-South. In fact the Canales appeared on the front cover of the very first Mid-South Horse Review in 1992. The World Grand Champion stallion "DIRTY HARRY" stood at the farm for several seasons as well as many other popular breeding stallions including "THE SEMINOLE CHIEF". Several horse sales and horse shows were held at Canale Farms each year and the beginners riding school started 15 years ago, continues today at Canale Farms in the winter months. In recent years the farm has been transformed into a recreational facility and no longer boards or sells horses. "We still have our personal horses and we have plans to stand a new colt "GEME SOME SKIN" a Buckskin Walking colt in coming years, but our main focus is now on large out-door events. "We feel that we can entertain more folks and bring in more visitors to the farm with our large events and still be an avenue for beginners into the horse world, and serve as an ambassador for Fayette County", said Canale. Hundreds of visitors and ex-boarders of the old Canale Farm, have moved to Fayette County and over the years the farm has introduced family after family to this beautiful county, many of whom now have their own horse ranches and facilities. The Canales, who now use their horse operation, equipment and experience to conduct large private events for Mid-South corporations have a very impressive client list. Last year Canale Farms hosted 63 large outdoor events, with attendance of over 18,000 and expects to exceed that number this year. The farm has hosted events for many local corporations in past years such as Ring Can, Ray Pac, Vollrath, and Oakland Deposit Bank. This year in addition to hosting dozens of events for Memphis corporations, Canale Farms has contracted to host several large events for area companies including, the Kellogg's Rossville plant, AOC and IPS corporations in Collierville, and World Quebecor and Delfield corporations from Covington. The farm, which employees about 25 regular part time employees and up to 30 additional employees is booked solid for the 2002 season and is in the process of booking large outdoor events for 2003. Canale credits the fact that only one event per day is booked giving corporations and family reunions exclusive use of the facility as the major factor in the farms new found success. "We still consider ourselves a horse ranch, with just a different business plan and an different marketing strategy" said Canale. Thanks to this change in direction for Drew and Allison, their dream is not only continuing but actually prospering! The Canales now have two girls, Valarie age 10 and Leslie age 9 and both work in the events at the farm as wranglers and carry the American Flag at the beginning of each picnic. Drew's mom Helen and brother Billy also work the events, giving clients a personal family touch. For more information about events at the farm or the riding school, contact Drew J. Canale at 901-465-6690.

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