Bob Miller of Nice Farms Creamery at Federalsburg, Md., is the first farmer to register with Maryland’s Best Homegrown By Heroes program. To kick off the program, he was honored last week at the Rise Up Coffee Roasters in Easton by Maryland Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the national Farmer Veteran Coalition and MidAtlantic Farm Credit.
“I’m honored to be the first official participant,” noted Miller. “In today's highly competitive marketplace, many unique products are overlooked by consumers. This program provides Maryland veterans with a valuable tool to help them stand out from the competition.”
Miller and wife Jaclynne started the micro-creamery enterprise in 2009 after he finished serving five years as a U.S. Army officer. “We started with one 35-gallon pasteurizer, a 4-gallon bottler, pump and chiller, and began producing Creamline whole milk, chocolate milk and yogurt that October,” he noted.
Nice Farms Creamery was one of the first farms in Maryland to adopt intensive grazing. It’s one of the few remaining dairy operations in Caroline County.
The couple strives to provide the best dairy products in both freshness, and unrivaled nutrition. “Our herd of 40 dairy cows is bred specifically for grazing. We maintain 120 acres of annual and perennial pastures where the cows are rotated daily,” Miller said.
A ‘standout’ market ID tool
Maryland’s Best Homegrown By Heroes program is designed to support Maryland veterans who have returned home to the farm, explained Ag Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. It’ll provide unique signage to identify and promote products grown by local veterans at farmers markets and local groceries.
“These brave men and women have served and protected our country. They deserve all the support we can give. I encourage all Marylanders to seek out products with the Homegrown By Heroes label,” Bartenfelder said.
The Farmer Veteran Coalition administers the program nationally and boasts over 550 members in 48 states plus Puerto Rico. Homegrown By Heroes signage is available free to Maryland farmers who’ve served in any branch of the armed services. Eligible farmers interested in joining the program are encouraged to visit the Farmer Veteran Coalition website at farmvetco.org.