Tailor Made for the LESMD Region
Value-added Agriculture may include not only the production and/or processing of agricultural products, but an associated educational and interactive component of the public – Agritourism. With increased consumer interest in the “farm to table” movement, Value-Added Agriculture and its related component Agritourism has become a viable option for farmers and processors in the LESMD Region to gain visibility and diversify their operations.
Value-added Agriculture includes farms/agricultural producers, as well as processors and small food businesses. Products may be specifically segregated by identity or production characteristics, such as organic or locally-grown. Categories encompass nearly the entire range of food and beverage products. Further processing such as drying, cleaning, milling, pelletizing and operations associated with repackaging are also part of the value-added mix. At the same time, Agritourism activities such as retail sales, u-pick, corn mazes and farmers markets transforms a farm into a destination thus contributing to diversification of core operations by providing an element of marketing as well as income.
In the LESMD Region the relationship between Value-added Agriculture and Agritourism is evident in successful operations involving the production of locally branded beer and dairy products. With regard to the latter – 21st Century industry consolidation and changing farm demographics led to a precipitous drop in the number of dairy farms. The response was a diversification effort in which a local dairy incorporated the key elements associated with Value-Added Agriculture. The result is a highly visible, artisanal brand with which the consumer associates a natural process and a specific local farm.
Some of the LESMD Value-Added Agriculture Companies
Chesapeake Bay Farms was established in 1946 in Worcester County, Maryland and is proud to be Worcester County’s last remaining dairy farm. With 2 retail locations in the county, their products include small batch artisanal ice cream, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, grass fed meats and more.Chesapeake Bay Farms Website