Maryland Starts "Homegrown By Heroes Program" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Starts "Homegrown By Heroes Program"

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The logo displayed proudly by program members (Photo:WBOC) The logo displayed proudly by program members (Photo:WBOC)

FEDERALSBURG, Md.- Just in time for veteran's day, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has begun a new program called "Homegrown by Heroes."  The goal is to give veteran farmers a leg up.

Welcome to Nice Farms Creamery in Caroline County.  The farm is run by Bob Miller, an army veteran.

"I think being a farmer and growing up in a farming family made me a great officer.  I was used to getting up early and working long days, discipline, taking care of livestock from a young age.  I think it really helped me to be prepared for my job as an artillery officer," said Miller.

In 2009 after returning home, Bob decided to start a new business on his parent's dairy farm.

"I think when we started the creamery, I had already been in combat situations so starting a business was a natural next step.  It's not something we can't really handle I guess," said Miller.

The business has grown over the years, and now he's getting help from the Maryland Department of Agriculture in the new Homegrown by Heroes program.  He was inducted as the first member of the program during an event last week.  Veteran farmers can apply for the program and then display the logo proudly on their products so shoppers know that the product is local and grown by a veteran.

"It's really about helping our veterans who served our country and have done so much for us.  Help them to get back here and get on their feet and become economically viable.  It's also good for Maryland Agriculture," said Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder.

Bob isn't running a large scale factory farm.  His cows graze in an open field at their leisure.  His products can be found in some local restaurants and farmer's markets.  He thinks this program will help him continue to grow his brand.

"Marylanders who are informed, they want a good local product, and hey this guy happens to be a veteran as well.  That may tip the scales in our favor perhaps," said Miller.

Bob doesn't consider himself a hero necessarily.  He says he just wants to provide high quality dairy products to the shore.

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