When we think of agriculture on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, sprawling poultry houses and the grain fields that feed them come to mind. After all, chickens have long outnumbered humans on the Delmarva Peninsula, where their abundance looms large over the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
But Bob Miller is part of a different breed of agriculture that is growing on the Shore, one that’s harder to capture in Bay models but is arguably doing as much to keep patches of farmland from becoming houses.
Miller’s family dairy in Caroline County began selling bottled milk, cream and butter locally in 2009 out of necessity as much as novelty. After his parents moved from New Jersey to Maryland and began raising cows on grass rather than feed, low milk prices in the 2000s forced the family to decide between getting big or getting out.