Developing the Upper Mississippi River Valley’s Untapped Resource- Organic Maple Syrup
We are very pleased to report that the cooperative has merged its efforts with a new emerging co-op, which will provide a more regional focus. In consultation with Joan Benjamin, SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program Coordinator, we have conserved the vast majority of our grant funds to be expended starting in 2007, where they will have their greatest impact.
In 2006 the cooperative was able to depend primarily on grant funding from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to fulfill its mission, including its educational work. The one exception was a $500 expenditure to underwrite the transportation cost to bring in an expert speaker in a joint educational program that was conducted in January with the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association.
OUTREACH & RESULTS
Our one public event this year, sponsoring the educational portion and a workshop at the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association annual winter conference impacted upwards of 200 producers.
All the educational programs we have conducted over the past few years have been appreciated and well received by the Maple syrup producers, or would-be producers, who have attended. We have found that our assumption that producers would appreciate in value the educational programs we initially proposed to SARE was correct.
WORK PLAN 2007
We plan to engage in earnest in conducting the workshops and meetings described in our original proposal and will update SARE with a new timeline as soon as the new cooperative leaders take control of this project.