ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail is officially open for the 2018 season, just in time to celebrate National Dairy Month. Now in its sixth year, the trail has become increasingly popular, drawing participants from around the world. Secretary Joe Bartenfelder will also be making stops along the trial throughout the whole summer.
“June is National Dairy Month and what better way to celebrate than by visiting a real, working Maryland dairy farm and enjoying locally produced ice cream,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “Our state is home to outstanding dairy operations that all Marylanders can appreciate. I encourage residents to visit at least one dairy farm on the nine-stop trail this summer.”
The 2018 Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail is made up of nine Maryland dairies that produce and sell their ice cream directly to consumers. The trail stretches more than 290 miles from Worcester County in the east to Washington County in the west, with additional stops in Baltimore, Cecil, Frederick, Harford and Montgomery counties. The purpose of the trail is to highlight the important contributions of Maryland’s 387 dairy farms which accounted $169 million in sales in 2017; and to increase the public’s general understanding of dairy farming.
National Dairy Month also reinforces milk and dairy products as a staple in a well-balanced diet and stresses the significance of milk production to the agriculture industry. In Maryland, dairy operations play a critical role in agriculture — our state’s top industry — with nearly 1 billion pounds of milk produced just last year.
The Ice Cream Trail Passport is available for download at MarylandsBest.net. Printed copies will also be available at each of the nine creameries throughout the season. Participants should use the passport to keep track of their progress by answering a specific dairy question and getting a stamp at each creamery on the trail between June 1 and Sept. 25.
Once completed, participants should mail the passport by Sept. 30 to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, where it will be entered in a drawing. One lucky winner will be named the 2018 Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail Blazer. The grand prize package will include a $50 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite creamery; a DVD set of Maryland Public Television’s Maryland Farm and Harvest, a copy of Lucie Snodgrass’ Dishing Up Maryland cookbook; and, of course, ultimate bragging rights. No purchase necessary.
Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail is a joint promotion supported by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council. Learn more about dairy farming and why “Your Milk Comes from a Good Place” at www.dairyspot.com.
— Maryland Department of Agriculture