Farmer Bob Miller uses the Caroline County Small Business Loan Program to diversify his family’s farm and open a popular all-natural creamery.
AFTER SERVING IN THE MILITARY FOR 5 YEARS, Bob Miller returned to his family’s dairy farm located in American Corner in Caroline County. His family has practiced responsible farming techniques for many years, and Bob sought to build on this expertise while diversifying the farm. In 2009, Bob launched Nice Farms Creamery. Nice Farms specializes in cream-line milk and yogurt products that are produced right on their dairy farm.
Bob was able to secure a loan through the Caroline County Small Business Loan Program to help open Nice Farms. The loan paid for processing and packaging equipment in the creamery. Caroline County Economic Development also helped connect Bob with many other resources that help small and ag-based businesses.
The non-homogenized, grass-fed dairy products produced by Nice Farms Creamery meet the ever increasing consumer demand for healthier, more natural foods. This has resulted in steady growth for Nice Farms since they opened. In addition to onsite sales at the creamery, Nice Farms products are now available at many farmers markets and natural food stores throughout the region.
What’s next for Nice Farms Creamery?
Nice Farms recently launched a new line of butter products. Launching the butter line has enabled Nice Farms to sell skim milk for the first time, as the fat skimmed from the milk now has profitable use. Next up, Nice Farms will be expanding to ice cream products.
Proprietors Phil and Vickie Liske collaborate with the Caroline County Office of Tourism to make their alpaca farm the county’s most popular agritourism destination.
OUTSTANDING DREAMS ALPACA FARM is one of several thriving alpaca farms located in Caroline County. Proprietors Phil and Vickie Liske decided early on that they wanted to open their farm to the public. Their pride and affection for their animals is clear, and they love welcoming visitors of all ages to the farm. To help promote their farm as an agritourism destination, Phil and Vickie have worked extensively with the Caroline County Office of Tourism.
The Tourism Office has helped Outstanding Dreams with promotional flyers, scheduling bus tours, and promoting special events at the farm. The farm’s signature event is its annual Alpaca Festival, which most recently brought over 1,400 visitors to the farm.
Outstanding Dreams has established a successful Farm Store on site that features a variety of products made from alpaca fleece. By working with the Office of Tourism, Outstanding Dreams has been able to increase traffic to the Farm Store and create an important additional revenue stream.
What’s next for Outstanding Dreams?
Phil and Vickie are working to expand their breeding services and animal sales, which are the primary revenue streams for the farm. This means that the farm will have even more adorable alpacas to visit in the future!
Seaberry Farm utilizes the Caroline County Small Business Loan Program to expand operations and become a leading supplier to the high-end floral market.
AFTER 16 YEARS STUDYING AND WORKING at Cornell University, Drs. Richard and Wenfei Uva decided to move to Caroline County, Maryland to start a farm. With Richard’s doctorate in horticulture and Wenfei’s doctorate in horticultural business management and marketing, the couple was well prepared to launch Seaberry Farm just outside Federalsburg.
Seaberry Farm is best known for its woody cut branches that are used in large, high-end floral arrangements. This specialty has made Seaberry Farm a leading supplier to the high-end floral market. Floral arrangements are also available from the farm direct to consumers for weddings and other events. Finally, the farm produces a variety of seasonal fruits, including the beach plum, a tasty and nutritious “super food”.
As Seaberry Farm continued to grow, CCED helped Richard and Wenfei apply for a loan through the Caroline County Small Business Loan Program. The loan enabled Seaberry Farm to acquire a large industrial cooler that keeps floral arrangements and fruit fresh. This has allowed the farm to continue to grow and serve broader markets.
What’s next for Seaberry Farm?
Seaberry Farm is focused on refining its product lines and achieving greater efficiencies. This will allow the farm to increase output within its existing acreage. Long term plans may include acreage expansion to keep pace with the high demand for Seaberry Farm’s floral and fruit products.