Author Archives: Chad Diaz

Frederick County’s Top Young Agricultural Professionals

Each year, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED) partners with Frederick Magazine for Frederick’s Top 50 publication. The 2022 issue, released in January, featured Frederick’s Top 50 Under 40. Homegrown Frederick wanted to take a similar approach and highlight the passionate young entrepreneurs and leaders in the ag and craft beverage industries. The Homegrown Frederick magazine, released June 1, announces those awarded as Frederick County’s Top Young Agricultural Professionals. Each week we will feature these men and women so you can get to know them better!

FCOED LogoHow were these ag professionals selected?  Here’s some insight into that process. The community was asked for nominations through a digital survey which was emailed and posted on the Homegrown Frederick website, Facebook, and Instagram. All nominees were then sent a survey to provide additional and more detailed information about themselves, their involvement in their industry and community and their career. Once all nominee forms were received, the selection committee had their work cut out for them with nearly 80 total nominations for over 50 individuals. Individuals and couples nominated comprised a diverse range of industries including craft beverage business owners and operators, agricultural educators and service providers, and both traditional production agriculture and direct-market producers.

After much deliberation, twenty individuals or couples across various industries were selected as Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. Many of the awarded are heavily involved in their communities and civic leadership. They are members of local, regional or national organizations, serve on boards or committees and/or mentor our youth and the future of agriculture in Frederick County. We are excited to officially announce Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals and hope you stay tuned each week for the individual features! If you didn’t get a chance to be involved in the nomination process and would like to in the future, be sure to follow our social channels or sign up for the FCOED newsletter.

The 2022 Top Young Agricultural Professionals:

 
As you can see from this list, Frederick County’s agriculture industry is in good hands.  If you see any of our Top Young Agricultural Professionals, take a moment to congratulate them!

Solving your Garden Soil Needs with Summer Creek Farm

Home Gardeners- You Want to Know Summer Creek Farm!

Recently, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development and Homegrown Frederick staff had the opportunity to visit with Rick Hood, owner of Summer Creek Farm in Thurmont. Summer Creek Farm is a USDA-certified organic operation producing gardening soil mixes and organic vegetables.

Summer Creek’s soil mixes are actually soil-less and composed of a majority of domestically sourced products. Raw materials including but not limited to rice hulls, compost, forest products and coconut fiber are mixed through a conveyor system and then bagged for their customers. Mixes are then marketed and shipped. While the majority of Summer Creek’s soil mixes are wholesaled to Virginia and Pennsylvania, products are shipped up and down the east coast. Surprisingly enough, “Soil mixes are one of the few products that Maryland exports to Pennsylvania,” Rick explained. Some of Summer Creek’s mixes are available in bulk by the pallet or provided in super stacks. Gardeners who have used Summer Creek soil mixes notice less weeding in beds where the products were used. When asked why this may be, Rick told us, “Because these mixes do not use actual soil, they do not contain weed seeds.” Another advantage to using their mixes over a competitor such as Miracle Grow is that their products can be reused year after year. Often times competitor products must be dumped and replaced each season.

Summer Creek’s soil operation came to fruition upon the retirement of their soil supplier. Because of their collaborative relationship, the supplier provided Rick with his formulas, along with encouragement, to do it himself. After three years of research and failures, he developed his first mix. Once he started making mixes for his own gardens, he realized there was a need and niche market he could tap into. Since then he has continued to experiment with different mixes for different uses from raised beds, potted plants, veggies and more. He currently offers about nine mixes but can also make custom mixes for his clients.

Although Summer Creek lost a significant amount of business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they are forging ahead as they face new challenges.  Even though fuel prices impact most agricultural operations, including the soil mixing business, Summer Creek pledges to keep their Multi-Mix garden soils at the same price through May. If you need soil for your garden, head to Summer Creek’s website before prices increase.

Summer Creek Farm has another enterprise – growing produce for Mom’s Organic Markets in Frederick and Roots Markets in Olney, among others. They employ 15 during the peak vegetable packing season. They have their procedures down to a science and are among one of the only produce operations that do not require refrigeration. They know their orders so well, “all produce is sold within 24 hours. We plant, pick, and ship it that way, just in time,” says Rick. Typically, markets end up rejecting about 20% of the produce that comes in, but Rick is proud that he had only one reject all season last year.

If you want to try out one of Summer Creek’s soil mixes or learn where you can purchase their produce, head over to their website for more information or follow them on Facebook. Summer Creek Farm has online ordering available for soil mixes including non-contact pick up on the farm available seven days a week during daylight hours. As always, please remember the importance of supporting your local farmers and small businesses!

 

Buy Local This Small Business Week

Did you know that May 1-7 signifies National Small Business Week?

This week Homegrown Frederick would like to honor the small businesses within Frederick County’s agriculture and craft beverage industries. 

Frederick County has a rich history in agriculture. As we have seen farmland acres decrease over the years, farmers have had to become more resilient, efficient and innovative producing more with less land. They are oftentimes faced with difficult decisions about whether to add on or pivot to a different agricultural enterprise to remain viable. While local agriculture is ever-changing, it remains a key industry for Frederick County. The Covid-19 pandemic hit our farmers hard and revealed the fragility of our national food system. In turn, this has created a demand for local direct-to-consumer products like we have never seen before. Our community is fortunate to have some of the best local products in the state of Maryland along with knowledgeable and passionate agricultural advocates!

If you haven’t browsed the Homegrown Frederick website yet, what are you waiting for? It is your map to visit local farms, find local products and craft beverage businesses and more! Frederick County is home to more than fifteen farms that offer community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions and the same number of farm wineries. The county encompasses a diverse ag business community including creameries, flower farms, beef and poultry operations, equine facilities, nurseries and sod farms among others! We love our booming agriculture and craft beverage scene in Frederick County and want to be sure it remains an economically strong industry into the future. Not only do these businesses provide us with food and beverage, they also educate the general public on where food comes from and how it is produced. Ag businesses create jobs and bring visitors to our county boosting the local economy.

Take a day this weekend to celebrate Small Business Week by visiting one of our wineries, breweries or distilleries or heading out to one of our farms. Purchase products, talk to the owners, farmers or employees and thank them for what they provide to our community. Agriculture is an underappreciated industry, and we could not survive without those who produce essential food, fiber and other ag products.

Thank you for supporting small businesses, buying local and helping to keep Frederick County’s agricultural heritage alive.

Most of all, thank you Frederick County farmers and craft beverage businesses, your hard work does not go unnoticed. We appreciate you and as always The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED), and Homegrown Frederick staff are always here to support you!  

Frederick’s Newest Farm Distillery! – Rosie Cheeks Distillery

Rosie Cheeks Distillery Grand Opening
Saturday, April 30, 2-10pm
10229 Woodsboro Pike
Walkersville, MD 21793

You don’t want to miss this event – the grand opening of Frederick County’s newest farm distillery! Head on out to try the flavors of Rosie Cheeks moonshine that are produced and bottled right there on the beautiful Iron Roses Farm. Bring your blankets and chairs for this family-friendly event to relax and enjoy live music. Food will be available for purchase from IN10SE BBQ and Glamourview Creamery.

Rosie Cheeks is a true family affair. Lee, along with Kristy’s father, manage the distilling process while Kristy creates the flavors. Lee and Kristy’s children also help jar the final product. Kristy informed us, “All Rosie Cheeks Moonshine flavors are created with real fruit and natural ingredients.” She expressed that while this generates more work, in the end they are able to create a better tasting and higher quality product for their consumers.

Rosie Cheeks Distillery currently produces 14 flavors of moonshine; seven of which are available year-round including, original (100 proof), peach cobbler, sippin apple, apple pie, caramel apple, smoky and campfire. At the farm you will be able to purchase a flight with five one-ounce tasters or a four-ounce beverage. They will also be releasing a new secret flavor for Saturday’s celebration! We are so excited to add Rosie Cheeks Distillery to the Homegrown Frederick craft beverage and farm distillery community and hope to see you at the Grand Opening.

If you’re looking for other locations to purchase a jar, visit their website here. Be sure to follow Rosie Cheeks Distillery and their updates on Facebook.

 

Young Leader: Jacyln Bryant

Throughout the month of March, Homegrown Frederick has celebrated Women’s History Month by recognizing a woman in the agriculture or craft beverage industry each week of the month. Our final spotlight goes to Jacyln Bryant, the current female Maryland Farm Bureau Ambassador.

As a twenty-year-old young woman, she keeps her plate full being heavily involved in the community. Jacyln is a full-time student at Frederick Community College, obtaining her Associate’s Degree in both biology and chemistry. She works on her family farm anywhere from four to six hours per day, plays the upright bass in the Frederick Symphony Orchestra, and serves as the Maryland Farm Bureau Ambassador. She is also a University of Maryland Extension volunteer, and lifetime Future Farmers of America (FFA) member.

On the family’s Saddle View Ranch, Jacyln is the third generation to farm and works alongside her parents and grandmother. Historically the farm was an equine operation and venue providing boarding opportunities and hosting equine shows and events. Growing up, Jacyln became very involved in 4-H judging chickens, hogs, sheep, and cattle. That’s when the diversification of their operation began. She became All-American at the national 4-H contest with four of the nine teams she participated in. Throughout her time at Urbana High School, Jacyln participated in FFA, competing in seven events, and then went on to become a state FFA officer.  Last year the family formed Bryant Livestock LLC to market a variety of meats direct to the consumer. They currently have lamb, pork, and beef in stock, and plan to eventually have goat meat as well. On the farm, she and her sister handle most of the animal care and manage the breeding program. Their goal is to grow their farm and retail meat business and increase the quality of their herd genetics.

Jacyln is proud to be a woman in agriculture. When asked what it means to her she stated, “When I was little, I never really thought it was special, but as I have grown up and have seen the gap between men and women in the industry, it makes me feel accomplished and proud.” Fortunately, she has not been subject to any negativity being a young woman in the field and equates that to the change in demographics as more and more females become involved. Jacyln says her greatest accomplishment in life thus far is, “serving as the Maryland Farm Bureau (MFB) Ambassador, while being a full-time student studying for two degrees and working on the farm.” In her position as the MFB Ambassador, she is a representative for the State of Maryland attending conferences and sitting at Farm Bureau board meetings. One of her main goals for this position is to encourage and increase young farmer membership and participation within Farm Bureau. She would like to develop stronger outreach programs by going into schools and educating students about 4-H and FFA. Hopefully, with more outreach and education, 4-H and FFA participation would rise, eventually leading them to Young Farmers and Ranchers and Farm Bureau. Jaclyn wants to make youth aware that they do not have to have an agricultural background to get involved. “Agriculture all across the globe, but especially in our community is changing,” she says, “We as an agricultural community have to be more open-minded and accepting to those without the background who want to learn and become involved in agriculture.” She is currently working on a plan for a social media campaign to help promote young farmers while also trying to engage youth interest in agriculture across our local community and state.

We commend Jacyln for her involvement as an advocate for agriculture in Frederick County. You can find Bryant Livestock LLC on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. Visit our website HomegrownFrederick.com for all your local products, and farmer’s market needs. We thank you for helping to support and celebrate Frederick County agriculture! The Homegrown Frederick staff is always available by contacting rtucker1@frederickcountymd.gov.

Belinda Burrier: The Brave and Inspiring Agvocate

As Homegrown Frederick continues to feature Frederick County’s leading ladies in the agriculture and craft beverage industries for Women’s History Month, we would love to introduce you to the inspiring and brave Belinda Burrier!

Not being a Frederick County native, nor from a farming background, makes Belinda’s story even more remarkable. She married into the Burrier family and the county’s farming community. Just twenty years ago, she and her husband, Dave, bought Burrier’s Linganore Farm from his parents. The 109-acre farm property is located in Union Bridge, MD. Upon purchasing, they entered the farm into one of Frederick County’s agricultural land preservation programs, and Belinda immediately took on the lifestyle as if she had been born into it. In total, the Burrier’s farm about 1200-acres. They produce hay on 250 of that while the rest is planted in corn, soybeans, and wheat. She credits her husband Dave saying, “He is the brains and I am better because of him.” She has always possessed a love for the outdoors and is thankful for Dave’s willingness to teach and spread some of the farm responsibilities, like making hay, onto her. The couple, along with one other family member, operates the farm full time, but each of their daughters help during the busy haymaking season.

Belinda has positioned herself as one of the top agricultural advocates for both our state and the country. She also puts Frederick County farming on the map for national and global recognition having served on the Maryland state soybean board for nine years as well as currently serving her eighth year on the United Soybean Board (USB). During her time with the Maryland Soybean Board, she indicated her greatest accomplishment being the creation of the safety program for which she still serves as an advisor. Seeing projects in which she has been involved come to fruition brings her an immense amount of joy. Prior to Belinda being elected, Maryland had never had representation on the USB executive committee and she is honored to be serving her third year. Throughout her time with USB, Belinda has been fortunate to travel to nine different countries while advocating for national, regional, and local agriculture. She and Dave also provide the public with much-needed transparency for agriculture by always welcoming groups to their farm. As our population’s exposure and knowledge in agriculture decline on both a national and local level, Belinda expresses the importance of educating the public while accepting as many opportunities to advocate as possible.

Belinda has been fortunate and has never felt disrespected while being a leading woman in agriculture. The only brief struggle she experienced was her initial acceptance into the close-knit Frederick County ag community. However, as an outsider with little background in ag, she quickly learned and embraced farming as a way of life. Serving on the USB, she is in the minority. Including her, there are only seven women serving on this 78-member board. The men welcome her participation, knowledge, and passion for the industry. She also explained that when traveling abroad, she seems to gain more respect from the global farming community than her male counterparts. She believes that to be in association with a maternal aspect. She has had nothing but positive experiences abroad while telling her story. When asked what advice she has for women farmers she said, “Be brave! Don’t be afraid to try anything. Just get out and do it!” Belinda also emphasized the significance of obtaining a female mentor and support system. “There is nothing better than a strong network of women to surround yourself with.”

Frederick County is fortunate to have advocates like Belinda, but we can never have enough. Never doubt the impact you can have on the community, especially to members of the public who are far removed from any experience in farming. The more farmers who tell their stories and educate the public, the more knowledge the community gains about the lifestyle, and knowledge is power. If you know of an amazing female farmer, tell us about her by contacting RTucker1@frederickcountymd.gov. You can always visit our website Homegrown Frederick or follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram as we continue to promote the amazing agriculture community in Frederick County!

Pam Moser: The Woman Behind the Brand, Moo Cow Creamery

During the month of March, Homegrown Frederick is featuring Frederick County’s leading ladies in the agriculture and craft beverage industries and we are proud to introduce you to the woman behind Moo Cow Creamery, Pam Moser. 

As her family’s eighth-generation to farm in Frederick County, protecting the family legacy has always been a priority. Walnut Ridge Farm, the dairy operation Pam owns and manages, was started in 1936 by her grandfather. After some unforeseen circumstances, Pam was able to join into a partnership with her family signifying a turning point for the farm. She brought a fresh set of eyes to their operation, partially due to the fact she hadn’t lived through the Great Depression. Pam expressed the need for their operation to become more efficient. In many cases, increased efficiency initially equaled higher costs; however, she was committed to making things easier on everyone. It was a long road, but after working alongside her father for years, she proved she was capable of managing the dairy. Pam obtained sole ownership in 2015 and indicates how her husband and children have stepped up and worked together to make necessary changes to survive the volatile and ever-changing dairy industry.

Pam learned early on in life to be fierce and outspoken in order to gain respect as a decision-making manager of Walnut Ridge Farm. Otherwise, she would not be where she is today. Pam not only demanded but earned the respect of those in the industry. She expressed that while her daughter, Amber, has been exposed to the hardship of not being taken seriously because she is a woman in her field, the perception is changing as more women become leaders in agriculture. Obtaining credit was also a struggle for Pam. It was not necessarily due to being a woman, but because her sole income source was the farm. When asked what advice she has for a young female farmer, she said, “Be ready for 24/7 commitment. It is not a nine-to-five job. You’re married to it, you sleep with it and vacation with it. The farm is on your mind all the time!”

Since 2020, Pam and her family have been working toward the end goal of eventually being able to process their own milk on the farm and sell their products through an on-farm market. The beginning step was having their milk made into flavored artisan cheeses and sweet cream butter, adding an extra source of revenue to the operation. You can shop Moo Cow Creamery’s delicious products on their website SHOP | Moo Cow Creamery WRF. They offer on-farm pickup but are also able to provide shipping when contacted directly. Last year Moo Cow Creamery was awarded funding through our Agricultural Innovation Grant Program to purchase a refrigerated van, allowing easier transport of their products.

Pam wanted to leave us with some advice for business owners, “Communication is the number one key to business survival and success. It is important within all aspects of your business – from employees and partners to bankers and customers and everyone in between.” She also expressed the importance of being open to innovative thinking and change. “No one likes change, but it is how and why we are here. We need to always be brainstorming ways to become more efficient, providing economic growth to our business and community.” Lastly, Pam said, “Love your job and you will never work a day in your life. Find your village and lean on them. Family is our village.”

The application period for our Ag Innovation Grant, in which Pam received funding, is currently open until March 31. Information is available at Discover Frederick Maryland (discoverfrederickmd.com). Don’t forget to support local; find your favorite local products here Homegrown Frederick!

Fierce Female Distiller: Monica Pearce

As we celebrate March as Women’s History Month, we would like to take this time to highlight a few of Frederick County’s finest women in the agriculture and craft beverage industries.

If you have never been to Tenth Ward Distillery and aren’t familiar with Monica Pearce, here is your chance to get to know one of the fiercest females in the craft beverage industry. Monica started Tenth Ward six years ago with just 1,600 square feet of production and tasting room space combined and the help from her mother on weekends.  In those six years, the business has grown to employ seven full-time staff members within nearly 16,000 square feet of space between two combined locations.

Monica celebrates the uniqueness of being a woman-owned distillery and embodies that within her brand; check out Tenth Ward’s “whiskey woman” merchandise at your next visit. Being a woman in a young craft distillery field has not come without its challenges. She expressed the struggle she and other women distillers face to be recognized as experts in their craft. Monica is working to change that perception. She is also passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive business culture by providing employment opportunities to both women and minorities. Monica shared some advice for women interested in the craft beverage industry. First, “Never stop learning. Attend training and obtain certifications as often as possible.” Furthermore, “Build your brand around being woman-owned and create a network of women entrepreneurs.” Monica encourages those interested to tap into the surrounding free resources early on by following social media groups, blog posts, podcasts, etc.” She also emphasized how women within the industry are extremely supportive and welcoming.

Monica has truly paved the way for distilleries in Frederick County. Although she shared the abundance of red tape she had to filter through as she began Tenth Ward because it was such a new concept (being one of only three craft distillery businesses in the State of Maryland), she praised Frederick County’s work creating the “how-to” guide for starting a craft beverage business.

Monica is the Vice President of the Maryland Distillers Guild board, a member of the Frederick Tourism Council board of directors, and a member of the American Craft Spirits Association. Monica is an advocate for the distilling industry and spends her timing fighting for a fair regulatory process for this growing industry.

To learn more about Tenth Ward Distillery’s monthly can cocktail club, quarterly bottle club, or more about their private event spaces visit Frederick Maryland Distillery | Tenth Ward Distilling Company. You may also visit Homegrown Frederick to keep up with local events featuring our craft beverage industry like the Spring Spirits Soiree on March 26th. If interested in obtaining a copy of the “How to Start a Winery, Brewery, Distillery” guide please email kstevens1@frederickcountymd.gov or rtucker1@frederickcountymd.gov.

Women in Agriculture: Missy Donnelly

As we celebrate March as Women’s History Month, we would like to take this time to highlight a few of Frederick County’s finest women in the agriculture and craft beverage industries. Our first feature, Missy Donnelly, is a familiar face to the agriculture community.

Missy is the County Executive Director for the Frederick and Montgomery/Howard County USDA- Farm Service Agencies. This coming fall will mark her 24th year providing federal programming service to local farmers. As a member of a governmental agriculture agency where staff experience in farming at the grassroots level has significantly decreased over the years, Missy is an irreplaceable and constant advocate for the local farming community where she grew up.

Back home on the farm, Missy and her brother Denny are 6th generation farmers. In February of 2021, Missy, her husband and two children moved back to the family farm. With a dream of a direct-to-consumer farming model in mind, Missy and Denny, along with their respective spouses, Kevin and Jackie, formed Chestnut Hill Farm & Market LLC. They produce fresh market vegetables and sell them at their on-farm market, through a CSA model, as well as through local farmer’s markets.

As an integral part of the Frederick County agriculture community, Missy has most cherished being able to participate in and give back to the community where she was raised. When asked what it means to be a woman in ag, Missy stated, “Being a woman in agriculture means continuing the family legacy by staying current with the times while identifying means of diversification to sustain the farm for generations to come. It is empowering to be a woman in an industry that has been historically male-dominated.” Missy praised the Frederick County ag community as being extremely welcoming to women in her field. Often times women leaders in agriculture are not received with the same respect as their male counterparts; however, she is fortunate to be encompassed by a strong support system within the local ag community. Farmers who would normally be considered competitors have accepted their new venture with open arms and have helped guide them through the hurdles of starting a new farm enterprise. These actions set the Frederick County farming community apart from others in our state and region. Missy explained how neighboring farmers help one another and work collectively to forge stable and sustainable local ag businesses which provide high-quality local products for Frederick County consumers to enjoy. The ag community also realizes the need for creative ideas, as well as beginning and young farmers to carry on the customs and/or practices our forefathers have established. Missy left us with this: “Without future farmers, where will our food, clothing, and other everyday products come from? Think about that for a minute- it is a scary thought.” One way you as a consumer can help is by purchasing local products as much as you possibly can.

For more information on Missy’s family business and how to support them, visit chestnuthillfarmmarket.com and follow their pages on Facebook (Chestnut Hill Farm & Market LLC) and Instagram (chestnuthillfarm_market)! You may also find them at these Frederick County farmer’s markets- Middletown, Thurmont, and Frederick City, as well as other regional markets. To find local ag products, farmer’s markets, and other information involving the Frederick County ag or craft beverage industries, please visit HomegrownFrederick.com

The Welsh Family: Love and Life on a Family Farm

Managing a family farm business is not for the faint of heart. Matt and Kelli Welsh, along with their four children: Kendall (18), Breckin (16), Andie (14), and Catlin (13), know this all too well. The Welsh family helps manage Savage-Leigh Dairy Farm in Knoxville, MD. The farm is owned and operated by Kelli’s parents, Wayne and Cindee Savage. Kelli’s brother and sister-in-law, Ryan and Ashley Savage also help to manage the dairy and crop farming operation. 

Kelli and Matt met as teenagers while competing in dairy judging against one another. Matt, originally from Virginia, competed with his state’s team at regional and national competitions, while Kelli competed for Maryland. Both, unknowingly to each other, ended up in college at Virginia Tech where their relationship evolved from friendship to love. Ultimately Matt moved to Maryland to help Kelli on her family’s farm and the rest is history. Their typical day on the farm starts around 3:30 am and finishes around 6:30 pm. When asked what they love most about the family farm, Matt expressed his love for cows and being able to work across the street from his home. He indicated, “as crazy as it sounds, I always wanted to milk cows.” Kelli loves the outdoors and the flexibility of being able to run errands in the middle of a week day with less crowds. They both agree that flexibility can change in an instant, especially on a dairy farm with nearly 200 cows in their milking herd. “Every day on a dairy farm is different;” said Kelli and Matt. There is always an abundance of tasks to complete and the day is never boring.

Having a family with four teenagers involved in sports, FFA, and showing dairy cattle, adds another hectic element to their life. Kendall works each day before school through the high school work study program. The others each have their own responsibilities to complete after school from scraping or picking manure to feeding calves. They do this while also managing their extracurricular activities. Currently Andie and Gatlin are in the midst of basketball season. Frequently Andie’s games at the high school and Gatlin’s practices at the middle school overlap, requiring Kelli to run between the two. Weekends, while most teenagers would be sleeping in, the Welsh kids alternate waking early to feed calves. While Andie and Kendall both love feeding and spoiling the calves, Breckin’s favorite aspect of the farm is anything involving running equipment. He is often found in a skid loader scraping the barnyard. Gatlin likes that “his friends think it’s cool,” while also enjoying naming the beef calves.

One sacrifice the entire family noted was the struggle to vacation. As dairy farmers, they can’t just take the day off. Cows still must be fed and milked twice daily. Obtaining labor is a struggle in and of itself within agriculture, but even more difficult is finding that trusting labor allowing a vacation away from the farm for the entire family. Often times Kelli and Matt find themselves tag teaming events so that one of them can be on the farm. The Welshes have always instilled in their kids to follow their dreams. If their future involves the farm, great, but if not that’s perfectly fine. They never want their kids to feel pressured to work in the family business.

Dairy farming is a difficult life, but as Kelli and Matt state, they love what they do. However, volatility and uncertainty within the dairy industry has led the Welsh family to explore ways to diversify their operation. They hope to integrate and expand a direct to consumer market on their farm very soon. They recognize the shift with consumers wanting to know where their food originates and will be happy to provide the public with products sourced from their farm.