OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — The co-founder of an acclaimed cheesemaking business is the new economic development director of Garrett County.

County officials announced the appointment of FireFly Farms co-owner Michael Koch on Wednesday. He succeeds Jim Hinebaugh, who recently retired.

Koch and a partner bought a Garrett County farm in 2000. They produced their first goat’s milk cheese two years later. Their products have won numerous awards in national and international competitions.

FireFly Farms opened a retail store in Accident last year.

Koch says he’ll remain on the company’s board of directors but won’t be involved in its daily operations. He says he’ll recuse himself from any government activity involving FireFly Farms.

Koch also has a home in Washington. He says he lives almost full-time in Garrett County.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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