Local legend and Maple View Farm founder Robert Nutter — or Farmer Bob, as he was commonly known — died on March 8 at the age of 90.
Farmer Bob was born in Maine, but moved to Hillsborough in 1963, bringing the Maple View Farm along with him. Hardworking and smart, Farmer Bob’s commitment propelled Maple View to success.
Farmer Bob’s son and co-founder of the farm, Roger Nutter, said his father had a large role on the farm up until three years ago when he suffered from a stroke.
“He was instrumental in ‘96 in getting the milk company started,” Roger said. “Then four years later, he opened up the ice cream store, and then a couple (of) years after that, he opened up the Maple View Agricultural Center.”
The Maple View Agricultural Educational Center is one of Farmer Bob’s most impactful and lasting legacies.
“He really wanted to give back to the community; that’s why he built the agricultural center,” Roger said. “He wanted kids to know where their food comes from — that it doesn’t just come from the grocery store — and how it gets there.”
Farmer Bob also created a fund through the Triangle Community Foundation, which provides money to promote literacy by purchasing books for Orange County schools, according to his obituary.
Farmer Bob was additionally lauded with several accolades for his community contributions. Among them are the Distinguished Dairy Farmer award, awarded to him in 1999 by North Carolina State University’s Department of Animal Science and the Orange County Recreation and Parks Department Advisory Council’s Volunteer Service Award in 2001.
Allison Nichols-Clapper is a manager and partner at Maple View who recalled her interactions with Farmer Bob fondly.