Maryland's Department of Agriculture has launched what it's calling an Ice Cream Trail, a promotion that encourages visits to the state's creameries and dairy farms. Danny Holland, owner of Chesapeake Bay Farms – one of the seven Ice Cream Trail locations – told The Daily Times that he loves the idea of a promotion that will draw people to his operation.

Chesapeake Bay Farms, which milks 80 cows, is the last working dairy farm in Worcester County.

The Ice Cream Trail is modeled after a similar marketing effort for Maryland wines and is the first such tourism draw in the U.S. for dairy farms that produce ice cream sold directly to consumers, according to Julie Oberg, spokeswoman for the state's agriculture department.

People can visit all seven sites to get their "passport" stamped. Anyone who visits all seven sites before Sept. 7 will have a chance to be named "Maryland's Best 2012 Ice Cream Trailblazer" and win prizes.

In addition to the passport contest, the Agriculture Department is offering a geocaching trail. Holland said geocachers came to his farm as soon as the contest was announced.


Maryland Agriculture Secretary Earl "Buddy" Hance kicked off the Ice Cream Trail during National Dairy Month by visiting three of the farms.

"We also want to increase the public's general understanding of what dairy farming is really all about by encouraging them to visit a farm, talk to the farmers and taste ice cream that goes from cow to cone," said Hance. "It is a delicious, fresh taste like no other."

Milk and dairy products are Maryland's third-biggest agricultural commodity, accounting for more than $182.7 million in farm receipts in 2010, reported The Daily Times.

Other participating sites include Rocky Point Creamery in Frederick County, Prigel Family Creamery in Baltimore County, Broom's Bloom Dairy in Harford County, Kilby Cream in Cecil County, South Mountain Creamery in Frederick County and Misty Meadow Farm Creamery in Washington County. PD

—From The Daily Times (Click here to read the full article.)