HILLSBOROUGH – You can celebrate Maple View Farm’s 50th Anniversary this Sunday along with owner Bob Nutter, also known as “Farmer Bob.”
Event organizers say it will be a day filled with activities and also a chance to commemorate the farm which has meant so much to our local community.
“Well I guess I have to be a little proud of the way it has happened and the way it has happened,” says Farmer Bob, a fifth generation farmer. “I think we have made some contributions to the community.”
Now semi-retired, Farmer Bob co-owns Maple View Farm with Mike Strowd.
Fifty years ago, the original owners of Maple View Farm moved from the original location in Corinna, Maine, to Hillsborough, North Carolina, for a better milk market and climate for raising crops.
The farm, now famous for its homemade ice cream and fresh milk, has since grown to 400 acres, and is a multifaceted operation, with products sold in more than 60 local stores.
Allison Nichols-Clapper, executive director of Maple View Agricultural Center, says Sunday’s celebration will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the farm’s Country Store, and The Mason Lovette Band will take to the stage at 2 p.m.
“We have games for kids. We have corn hole for adults, as well as educational booths from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, 4-H, and Master Gardeners of Orange County,” Nichols-Clapper says. “We’ll have a few local vendors that will be joining us to showcase some of their local items.”
One of the booths will focus on the Agricultural Center, the farm’s non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for both children and adults.
Donations will also be accepted for several charities, including the “Sam’s Wish Fund” at Kids Path of Hospice. Nichols says all donations are given to the charity are in memory Farmer Bob’s daughter, Arlene “Muffin” Nutter Brosig, who co-founded the Farm in North Carolina with her father. Muffin died of cancer in 2010.
Nichols-Clapper says Maple View Farms makes it a priority to give back to the community, adding that Farmer Bob and wife Chris Nutter “were two of the most kind and generous people” that she had ever met.
“One of the reasons why I think their business has been so successful is because they are community-oriented,” Nichols-Clapper says. “They are constantly trying to help the community, which in turn helps them to be successful.”
Maple View also uses environmentally-responsible practices in their businesses. In 1996, the farm installed an on-farm bottling operation and made returnable glass bottles available to Orange County residents.
“[The farm] comes full-circle,” Nichols-Clapper says. “It is like a true cow-to-cone operation where you can sit on the front porch and enjoy your ice cream and see the cows grazing that are responsible for your ice cream. At the same time, you can come on a field trip and learn all about agriculture and the importance of farming.”
Farmer Bob says Sunday’s event will be a chance to celebrate with his family and the many friends he’s made in the community.
“I just think I’ll be glad to see a lot of people and I won’t be able to call many of them by name, but I can recognize their face,” Nutter says.
As for the next fifty years of Maple View, Farmer Bob says: “I believe that my son and my partner will be able to continue to milk cows here as long as they want to.”