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Co-op salutes top producers in neighboring district

December 06, 2005

JEFFERSON, Md. - Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative honored dairy farmers with quality producer awards at the cooperative's Oct. 26 district meeting.

They earned the honor by consistently achieving specific milk quality standards for 11 and 12 months from August 2004 to July 2005. Two members also were recognized for 25 years of cooperative membership.

"Maryland & Virginia has a tradition of providing processors and consumers alike with high quality milk and we could not do that without the support and dedication of all our farmers," said Grant Gayman, member services manager.

"Milk quality starts at the farm level and we are pleased to recognize the efforts of those farmers who do their utmost each and every day to produce the best possible product," Gayman said.

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On hand to accept 12-month quality awards were:

  • Ellerton View Farm, the Grossnickle family, Myersville, Md.

  • Mehrle Flook Inc., Middletown, Md.

  • John O. Hardesty & Son, Berryville, Va.

  • Orchard Crest Inc., the Potts family, Purcellville, Va.

  • Rocky Point Farms, the Fry family, Tuscarora, Md.

  • Wayne & Cindee Savage, Knoxville, Md.

  • Stanley & Sandra Tucker, Jefferson, Md.


Receiving awards for 11 months of quality milk production were:

  • Scott & Judy Hood, Middletown; and

  • Carl and Jane Wiles, Kenneth Wiles Jr. family, Jefferson.


Receiving 12-month quality awards but unable to attend the meeting include:

  • Benjamin & Barbara Byers, Martinsburg, W.Va.;

  • Dogwood Farm, Purcellville, Va.;

  • Glenn Kinna, Middletown; and

  • Riggs & Stiles Inc., Berryville, Va.


Two other farms earned with an 11-month quality award:

  • Earle & Charles Geisbert, Frederick, Md.; and

  • Waverly Farm, Clearbrook, Va.


Marking 25 years as Maryland & Virginia member-owners are Randy and Karen Sowers of Middletown. The Sowers milk 250 Holstein cows and farm 1,500 acres with their children Abby and Tony Brusco and Ben and Katie Sowers.

In 2001, they founded South Mountain Creamery, which features a farm store, processing facility and home milk delivery business serving Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The Keesecker family of Martinsburg, W.Va., was also recognized for 25 years of cooperative membership.

Established when then 16-year-old Gaylen developed an interest in the dairy industry, today 80 milking cows are at home at Crystal Brook Dairy.

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers is a milk marketing and processing cooperative that represents nearly 1,500 dairy farmer-owners from Pennsylvania to Alabama.

The cooperative includes two fluid processing plants: Marva Maid in Newport News, Va., and Maola Milk and Ice Cream in New Bern, N.C.; manufacturing plants in Laurel, Md., and Strasburg, Va.; and an equipment and farm supply business in Frederick.

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