Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg
July is national ice cream month – a perfect excuse to indulge in a heaping double-scoop of hand-dipped ice cream atop a sugary, crunchy cone (as if you needed an excuse). But for two alumni of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, ice cream represents much more than a sweet treat. It’s the future of the family farm.
Chuck Fry, who attended the College of AGNR in the early 1980s studying agricultural education and agricultural economics, owns Rocky Point Creamery in Tuscarora, Md. A fourth generation dairy farmer, Chuck and his wife Paula opened the creamery in 2011 to help diversify operations on their 1,500-acre Frederick County farm. Chuck’s daughter Gail mixes up flavors like Reese Pieces, Cowfee Chip and Salty Caramel Pretzel fresh on the premises. During weekends in the summer, the Frys are scooping ice cream for more than 700 customers a day at this scenic and popular location in western Maryland.
Ken Holland, a 1964 dairy husbandry graduate, and his family operate Chesapeake Bay Farms in Pocomoke, Md. on the Lower Eastern Shore. The Hollands installed a processing plant on their farm to make cheese and ice cream in 2012 and opened up a retail store in nearby Berlin, Md. from which to sell them. The signature flavors concocted by Ken’s daughter-in-law, Laura Holland – like Blueberry Crunch, which contains pieces of homemade shortbread – proved so popular, they started selling ice cream directly from the farm as well. The fact that the property is located four miles off any major highway doesn’t seem to stop customers from seeking out the creamy confections in droves.
Both Rocky Point Creamery and Chesapeake Bay Farms are located at opposite ends of the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail, an initiative launched by the Maryland Department of Agriculture in 2012 as a way to encourage residents in the state to visit working dairy farms and to learn about where their food comes from.
Get the inside scoop on how the Frys and the Hollands successfully incorporated creameries into their dairy farming operations in the next issue of the College of AGNR’s MomentUM magazine coming later this summer!