Dale Maris is a lifelong resident of Buckley, Washington and a 1980 graduate of White River High School. After working at local dairy farms during his high school days, he purchased the land and home (1983) where Maris Farms sits today. That purchase was with the sole purpose of growing his dairy business, which he did until 1998. Along the way – about 1995 – Maris started growing pumpkins on a 2.5-acre plot at the family property where he and four siblings grew up.
Dale spent a brief time delivering dairy supplies to local and eastern Washington dairies after shutting down his dairy business. He became a firefighter for East Pierce Fire & Rescue in 2007. Dale is the “visionary” behind Maris Farms and he can be seen on his tractor from May through October – disking, weeding, hoeing, planting, spraying, scooping, speaking and tanning.
Joanne Templeman is Dale’s sister and is also a graduate of White River High School (1985) as well as a 1989 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, where she earned a degree in Biology. She worked as a private contractor at Fort Lewis until having her second child in 1995, when she started working from home while raising both boys, Drew and Bryce. With the boys now in college, Joanne recently resigned her position at Lockheed Martin as an environmental analyst for the FAA and is working full time at the farm.
Joanne handles personnel, accounting and general business operations at Maris Farms. She can also be seen driving a tractor throughout the summer and fall – either mowing the parking lots, weeding and/or disking the pumpkin fields or scooping and spreading bark in the corn maze trails.
Kay Maris is mom to Dale and Joanne as well as three other children – Jerry, Doug and Andy. She is a retired school teacher/librarian from the White River School District, where she coached high school girls golf and cross country as well middle school girls soccer, basketball and track. Kay is a 1959 Washington State University graduate (Education degree) and grew up in Port Orchard, where she attended South Kitsap High School.
Kay created the field trip program at Maris Farms and has managed the corn maze (day and night) operations and signage since day one. You’ll also often see her driving tractor – weeding the pumpin fields or scooping and spreading bark as well as tending to her animal barn.
Steve Templeman is married to Joanne. He is a 1985 graduate of Lake Stevens High School and a 1989 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, where he earned a degree in Communications/Journalism. Steve worked at the Enumclaw Courier Herald for five years after college as well as part time at the Tacoma News Tribune. He now works in the food and beverage business.
Steve takes care of marketing/promotions and third-party partnerships at Maris Farms, as well as some personnel and general operational/logistical tasks. You’ll also often see him either training his prized racing pigs for the Triple Pig Crown racing series or several ducks for the live duck races they have on weekends. You’ll also see him watching Dale, Joanne and Kay drive tractor.