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.
Katlyn Robertson, 25, is the Field Supervisor for Catoctin Mountain Orchard (CMO) and named as one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. She is the fourth generation to be actively involved in the family operation comprising 100 acres of mixed fruits, berries and vegetables and a retail farm market located directly off Route 15 in Thurmont. Growing up on the farm alongside her grandfather and inspiration, Robert “Bob” Black, and learning how to farm at a young age prepared Katlyn for the responsibilities she now has. “Katlyn has been involved with the family business ever since she could walk. She was my right hand then and now, going to orchard tours, meeting new farmers and making a name for herself,” said Bob. Katlyn expressed gratitude for the opportunities she has been given and the knowledge passed on to her, especially from her grandfather. She is passionate and dedicated to continuing the family legacy and name and providing consumers with the best local, tasting fruits.
Katlyn wears many hats at CMO. She manages the highly successful u-pick blueberry, black raspberry, cherry and apple operations on the farm. Katlyn is responsible for bringing u-pick apples to CMO. Fall has always been the busiest time of the year, and Katlyn thought “what better way to bring in more customers than u-pick apples?” After research, visiting other pick-your-own-apple orchards and developing a business plan, Katlyn was approved to move forward and began operations in 2014. This piece of the operation has increased sales while bringing new customers to the farm. To this day, she signifies the u-pick apples as her greatest farm business accomplishment. Katlyn can also be found helping with field work, assisting customers and ensuring proper food safety within the business.
Katlyn is committed to advocating for agriculture in Frederick County and giving back to the community. CMO partners with Farm to School Frederick to supply fruits to the Frederick County Public Schools lunch program. Katlyn is passionate about and eager to teach children the importance of farms in our everyday lives. Every week from July to November, Katlyn sets up a small farmstand to sell produce at Homewood Retirement Center. Providing this service is one of her favorites because she is helping those who may not have the ability to go to the grocery store. She is an active board member for the Frederick County Farm Bureau and the Vice Chair for Frederick County Young Farmers. She also serves as the Vice Chairman for the State Horticultural Association of PA Young Growers Alliance and is a member of the International Fruit Trees Association where she was a recipient of the young professional scholarship in 2020.
Katlyn is an exemplary young woman in Frederick County’s agricultural community, and we are proud to honor her 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 Katlyn on this well-deserved accolade!