During the month of March, Homegrown Frederick is featuring Frederick County’s leading ladies in the agriculture and craft beverage industries and we are proud to introduce you to the woman behind Moo Cow Creamery, Pam Moser.
As her family’s eighth-generation to farm in Frederick County, protecting the family legacy has always been a priority. Walnut Ridge Farm, the dairy operation Pam owns and manages, was started in 1936 by her grandfather. After some unforeseen circumstances, Pam was able to join into a partnership with her family signifying a turning point for the farm. She brought a fresh set of eyes to their operation, partially due to the fact she hadn’t lived through the Great Depression. Pam expressed the need for their operation to become more efficient. In many cases, increased efficiency initially equaled higher costs; however, she was committed to making things easier on everyone. It was a long road, but after working alongside her father for years, she proved she was capable of managing the dairy. Pam obtained sole ownership in 2015 and indicates how her husband and children have stepped up and worked together to make necessary changes to survive the volatile and ever-changing dairy industry.
Pam learned early on in life to be fierce and outspoken in order to gain respect as a decision-making manager of Walnut Ridge Farm. Otherwise, she would not be where she is today. Pam not only demanded but earned the respect of those in the industry. She expressed that while her daughter, Amber, has been exposed to the hardship of not being taken seriously because she is a woman in her field, the perception is changing as more women become leaders in agriculture. Obtaining credit was also a struggle for Pam. It was not necessarily due to being a woman, but because her sole income source was the farm. When asked what advice she has for a young female farmer, she said, “Be ready for 24/7 commitment. It is not a nine-to-five job. You’re married to it, you sleep with it and vacation with it. The farm is on your mind all the time!”
Since 2020, Pam and her family have been working toward the end goal of eventually being able to process their own milk on the farm and sell their products through an on-farm market. The beginning step was having their milk made into flavored artisan cheeses and sweet cream butter, adding an extra source of revenue to the operation. You can shop Moo Cow Creamery’s delicious products on their website SHOP | Moo Cow Creamery WRF. They offer on-farm pickup but are also able to provide shipping when contacted directly. Last year Moo Cow Creamery was awarded funding through our Agricultural Innovation Grant Program to purchase a refrigerated van, allowing easier transport of their products.
Pam wanted to leave us with some advice for business owners, “Communication is the number one key to business survival and success. It is important within all aspects of your business - from employees and partners to bankers and customers and everyone in between.” She also expressed the importance of being open to innovative thinking and change. “No one likes change, but it is how and why we are here. We need to always be brainstorming ways to become more efficient, providing economic growth to our business and community.” Lastly, Pam said, “Love your job and you will never work a day in your life. Find your village and lean on them. Family is our village.”
The application period for our Ag Innovation Grant, in which Pam received funding, is currently open until March 31. Information is available at Discover Frederick Maryland (discoverfrederickmd.com). Don’t forget to support local; find your favorite local products here Homegrown Frederick!