Tory Schwope believes he was taught to love trees about the same time he learned how to walk. Tory’s dad and uncle started the tree farm business in the mid 1970’s, which started as a hobby for two farm boys who just couldn’t get farming out of their blood. While they both worked day jobs, it was that love of trees that they poured their heart and soul into during the evenings and weekends. In the mid 1980’s, the Schwopes sold their business to another local nursery family.
From the moment Tory learned the tree farm had been sold, his dream one day was to re-build the business that his family had built. Always wanting to keep his hands and heart near the soil, he started his own landscape business when he was in high school and then a nursery when he went to Kansas State University.
He planted his first crop of trees in 1997 when he was a sophomore and planted trees each year while he was studying for his business degree. After he graduated in 1999, Tory began harvesting trees and a small tree farm flourished into a large landscape distribution center for KAT Nurseries, which continues to grow today. In 2005, Tory’s vision continued to grow when he purchased two farms in Atherton, Missouri and re-established Schwope Brothers Tree Farms, bringing his family’s history back to the present.
Tory’s vision of integrating production and distribution while also incorporating retail sales, agritourism and transportation has come to fruition and is set to continue propelling our company into the twenty-first century and beyond.