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, features Frederick’s Top 50 Under 40. Homegrown Frederick wanted to take a similar approach and highlight the young entrepreneurs and leaders in the agriculture and craft beverage industries. The Homegrown Frederick magazine, released June 1, announces Frederick County’s Top Young Agricultural Professionals. Each week we will be highlighting these individuals so you can get to know them better.
Jamie Derr, 36, owner of Valley Ho Farm in Middletown, is one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, she has been involved in agriculture her entire life. For ten years as a young adult, she worked for her parents’ custom heifer raising and crop farming operation. In 2008 Jamie married Chris Derr, and together they took over operations at his family’s 180-acre farm. Five years later, they began a dairy farm on the property. They now milk 70 Holstein cows while raising all of their replacements and feed for their cattle. The pair also grow and sell hay, soybeans, barley and corn. In 2018, Jamie diversified their dairy and crop farming operation and began a cut flower enterprise, Valley HomeMade and HomeGrown. She now grows a quarter acre of flowers to sell at the Brunswick, Middletown, and Myersville farmers’ markets. Valley HomeMade and HomeGrown also offers flower arranging classes, and cut-your-own events while in season on the farm. You can find more details about Jamie’s flower farm and events by checking out her website, or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
On the dairy farm, Jamie is responsible for the cattle reproduction, feeding youngstock twice daily, and milking the cows each afternoon. She works closely with a veterinarian to monitor cattle health and pregnancies, and helps with field work as needed. When it comes to the flower business, Jamie is the sole manager. From planting and weeding to harvesting and selling as well as organizing the on farm events, she does it all.
In 2019, Jamie was honored to receive the Frederick County Young Farmer Award being recognized for her work within the local agricultural community. She is an advocate for the agriculture industry in Frederick County and is dedicated to educating the public whenever opportunities arise. The Derrs have welcomed non-ag visitors to their farm by hosting University of Maryland Extension Breakfast on the Farm, as well as pick-your-own flower events. Jamie names her biggest business accomplishment as starting two brand new ag businesses within five years. “Today as a farm it is extremely hard to make it. I think the fact that we were able to diversify to have several different forms of income from our farm will help keep us viable into the future,” she said.
We are proud to honor Jamie Derr as one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. The full list can be found here. It is safe to say the local agricultural industry has a bright future ahead with young leaders like her at the helm. Be sure to congratulate Jamie from Valley Ho Farm on this well-deserved accolade!