In December 2002, two weeks before Christmas, Eddie Conner, a 5th generation farmer in Nassau County, found himself out of a job. A knock at the door that day, 2 hours before it was reported on the TV, brought the news that Mr. Conner and 88 other poultry growers were effectively put out of business. Tyson was closing the doors to their poultry operation in north Florida. As fate would have it, Amanda McLendon, the Conner’s daughter, and a friend, Beth Gregory, who worked at Farm Bureau in Callahan, had read about and visited a corn maze in Jennings FL two years before. They returned so excited they wanted Mr. Conner to open a maze on the family farm immediately!!! Mr. Conner, having his hands full with 4 poultry houses, producing approx. 400,000 chickens a year, plus cattle and hay, told Amanda she was crazy. He did not have time for such nonsense.
As the days went by, after Tyson closing, the Conner’s were concerned about what they would do to make a living. As they discussed various options, God brought to their memory the trip Amanda and Beth had made to a maze in Jennings, and now maybe it would be something to try. So they prayed and ask God to guide them, did some research on the internet, talked to their children, and visited two Florida mazes. After the farmer who owned the maze in Jennings made the statement, “It has been the most fun in farming I have ever had”; the Conner’s took a giant leap of faith and joined the Maize organization. Then The Work Began... Having replanted the maze 3 times due to the weather, Conner’s A-Maize-Ing Acres finally opened October 18, 2003. The Conner’s inaugural season was a huge success, helping approximately 12,000 people “Get Lost” while being dedicated to providing a place where families, can come together and enjoy good clean fun. Conner’s A-Maize-Ing Acres was host to over 6,000 school children on field trips their first year. The teachers and students gave the Conner’s high marks on education, organization and a whole lot of good carefree fun. The Conner’s strive to educate the public on the importance of agriculture and the American farmer. They are quick to tell you that without God’s blessings and the help of family, friends and their church family, they could have never made it.
Raised on the farm with his siblings, Mr Eddie helped his family farm this land for years. At the age of 18, Eddie enlisted in the Army and fought in the Vietnam War. Soon after his return, Betty Jean and Eddie were married in 1972 and together they farmed and raised their children (Amanda, Eddie II and Matthew) with the help of the Lord. They continue to farm with their Children and Grandchildren.
Amanda Conner McLendon is the oldest child born to Eddie and Betty Jean Conner. Helping her parents, she manages the farm while it is opened to guests throughout the year and together with her husband has raised their three beautiful daughters on the farm where they enjoy working together as family. Hope, Kara and Cierra McLendon (aka "the girls") are a big part of the Fall Season attractions as well as everyday farm life.
Many of the staff are family members and friends. Among those who have worked closely with the Conner's are: Conner son Lil' Eddie, Michelle, Sarah and her family, Kylie and so many more. They continue to be grateful for all the support, love and prayers from the fabulous farm hands they employ each year. After a brief morning prayer, the farm hands are ready to greet and assist guests and help make their day special.