2016: The Milburn Family
Family Name: The Milburn Family
The Milburn family has been farming in Cecil County for more than 100 years, and the operation is currently run by the family’s fourth generation. Milburn Orchards spans more than 400 acres in Elkton, producing a variety of fruit—mostly apples and peaches. Picking up where their uncle Evan Milburn and father John Milburn left off, Jay, Melinda, and David Milburn have worked together to establish Milburn Orchards as a leader in the ever-changing landscape of Maryland’s agriculture industry. Milburn Orchards was among the first Maryland farms to embrace the state’s emerging agri-tourism market. The family developed its “BIG BackYard” attraction, giving visitors an opportunity to learn where their food comes from while enjoying a hands-on outdoor experience with their families. The Milburn’s have also developed “U-Pick Adventures,” and have recently expanded their on-farm market to meet increasing demands. As resource conservation continues to be a priority for the state, the Milburns have made a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture. The family has made a number of small changes that have resulted in significant savings financially and ecologically: Windmills, well pumps, irrigation systems, etc. The Millburns are currently in the process of installing solar arrays on the roofs of their farm market and cold storage buildings, which they expect will offset the farm’s electricity usage by 40 percent. The family has also shown leadership in agricultural marketing, leveraging social media and e-mail/text message campaigns to create highly effective marketing programs. Their success in this area has resulted in invitations to speak at a number of trade shows, seminars, and classrooms. In addition to their on-farm contributions, the Milburn family participates in a variety of educational initiatives, and is active in several organizations on local, state, and national levels.
Ceremony Date: 2/2/17