Mike Koch

A local food advocate and award-winning entrepreneur with a distinguished track record of innovation, Mike Koch has a depth and breadth of more than two decades of experience. As an agribusiness leader, he created a successful, highly touted artisanal cheese business grounded in unprecedented partnerships with farmers and has spearheaded advocacy and economic development efforts to support agriculture based businesses. He has also diplomatically lead change and growth for growing organizations and has demonstrated expertise in strategic marketing and communications, as well as fiscal acumen honed over two decades in leadership roles in the financial services industry. Prior to being named as FRESHFARM Markets new Executive Director, Koch served in the Garrett County Maryland Government leading its community and economic development teams. While there he developed the infrastructure to support business growth and expansion including Marylandís first and largest FoodHub: Garrett Growers Cooperative. He also oversaw securing more than $3 million in grant funding for county infrastructure projects. Under his leadership, his own highly regarded hand-made cheese business, FireFly Farms, has won nearly 100 national and international awards, including the United States Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business Award. Additionally, his pioneering and progressive approach to building relationships with local milk producers created a compensation structure based on milk composition and quality, as opposed to the traditional volume-only model. He has been the president/owner of FireFly Farms since 2000. Additionally, he has participated in the National Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland and has served on numerous boards and leadership councils. He has been a respected member of the FRESHFARM Markets board of directors since 2010 and has served as treasurer and executive committee member. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He has twice attended the Rassias Accelerated Language Program at Dartmouth College where he developed a working fluency in Spanish.


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