Derek Kilmer owns and operates Kilmer’s Farm Market & Orchard, located in Inwood, WV. The orchard is 500 acres of delicious fruit bearing trees and bushes, which are comprised of apples, peaches, plums, pears, cherries, nectarines, blackberries and raspberries. In addition to the orchard, Kilmer’s also aggregates and distributes produce from their farm, other local West Virginia farms, and also non-local farms.
Derek is proud to be carrying on the family business, which was started by his grandfather in the 1940’s. When the senior Kilmer passed away in 1987, Derek’s grandmother and mother took over farm operations. After graduating from Marshall University, Derek began helping at the farm, eventually taking over ownership in 2012.Derek did not attend college with the intention of becoming a farmer after graduation. He did, however, begin working on the farm post-graduation, and gradually took on more and more responsibility until he fully took ownership in 2012. When we visited the farm in April, the trees were starting to bud, as was our new partnership with Kilmer’s. Before we even entered the orchard, we were pleasantly surprised at both the neat and tidy offices, complete with an office manager. A sign of a modern farmer and successful farm indeed! After listening to Derek tell his story, it was clear that he is no average farmer. Not only is Derek carrying on operations of his family farm, but he’s also making an impact on the local economy in West Virginia.
Derek is passionate about supporting his fellow farmers in West Virginia. Kilmer’s Farm Market & Orchard grows, packs, and distributes produce from their farm and smaller local WV farms. They also aggregate and distribute non-local produce. By doing this work, he helps keep prices down, creates jobs with better than average wages, and puts more money in the pocket of his fellow WV farmers. Their food services DC Charter Schools, 7 counties in WV, DC Central Kitchen, VA Medical Center, and small and mid-size distributors.
Since taking over operations on the farm, growth has been steady and consistent, and Derek is carefully planning for the future. On our last visit Derek spoke of more land that he purchased to invest in the farm. We’re sure he has smart plans for the new land, and we can’t wait to try his apples and pears come fall!