For Immediate Release - March 03, 2011

USDA Undersecretary Visits Granville Farm TODAY to Recognize Grant to Massachusetts Maple Producers Association

Media Advisory

WHAT:

TODAY, Thursday, March 3, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos will join Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Scott Soares to visit Maple Corner Farm in recognizing a USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association. The $6,000 grant will increase promotional opportunities to direct market sales of Massachusetts maple syrup.

More than 300 Massachusetts maple producers generate close to $3 million each year from syrup production, as well as $1.9 million spent by approximately 60,000 tourists during the sugaring season. The income from maple sugaring is a key factor in the solvency of many dairy farms, and the industry preserves over 8,000 acres of Massachusetts as open space. Of the 11 major maple producing states in the US, Massachusetts ranks eighth.

USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant is funded by the United States Farm Bill. USDA provided $55 million to state departments of agriculture each year to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, which are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery products.

WHO:

  • USDA Undersecretary Edward Avalos
  • DAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares
  • Massachusetts Maple Producers Association representatives

WHEN:

Thursday March 3, 2011 2 pm

WHERE:

Maple Corner Farm, 794 Beech Hill Road, Granville

DIRECTIONS: Take I-90 W to Exit 3 toward US-202/MA-10/Westfield/Northampton, Turn right at MA-10 S/US-202 S/Southampton Rd. Slight left at Union Ave. Turn Right at Franklin St. Continue onto US-20 W/Russell Rd. Turn left at MA-23 W/Blandford Rd. Turn left at Beech Hill Rd. Arrive at 794 Beech Hill Rd, Granville.

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