- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Declares March “Massachusetts Maple Month”
HAMPDEN — Governor Baker today declared March as “Massachusetts Maple Month,” continuing the Commonwealth’s support of maple producers and encouraging Massachusetts residents to purchase locally-produced maple products. To kick off Maple Month, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux was joined by State Senator Eric Lesser and agricultural officials at Ferrindino Maple in Hampden for a ceremonial sugar maple tree tapping.
“Our administration is proud to support the Commonwealth’s $6 million maple industry and we are committed to ensuring the industry continues to thrive as an economic, environmental and agricultural engine for the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to continuing our work with local syrup producers to bring awareness throughout the season.”
“Maple producers throughout the Commonwealth continue to embrace environmental sustainability as part of their operations,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to invest in programs such as the Farm Energy Grant program which promotes energy-efficient machinery and further assists with the sustainability, success, and viability of Massachusetts’ maple industry.”
Massachusetts is home to approximately 300 maple syrup producers, including many who are open to the public throughout the sugaring season. Last year more than 72,000 gallons of maple syrup was produced, and Massachusetts maple producers’ sales each year contribute more than $6 million to the Commonwealth’s economy. The maple industry employs over 1,000 workers and Massachusetts sugar makers steward more than 15,000 acres of woodland.
“MDAR is proud to provide grants for maple producers to not only increase production but to address the agricultural sector’s vulnerability to climate change,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “Recently initiated, the Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies Program (ACRE) helps producers to fund practices that mitigate climate change and improve economic resiliency.”
“Maple sugaring is a time-honored tradition that gives residents and visitors a distinct opportunity to enjoy our agricultural riches while supporting local syrup producers,” said Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Executive Director Francois L. Nivaud. “Maple Month helps shine a light on the producers and the outstanding products enjoyed by so many in Massachusetts and beyond.”
While March has earned the distinction of Maple Month, tapping in Massachusetts can start as early as late January and continue through April. For the best sugaring, nights must be below freezing and days must be above freezing. Everything from the weather, soil, and genetics of the tree can affect maple syrup flavor.
“I am fortunate to have so many maple sugar shacks in my district,” stated State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “It is always a harbinger of spring when I can drive around and smell the sweetness of the maple syrup and products being made. I look forward to visiting a number of these wonderful local businesses during this month and am proud to support our local farmers.”
“Year after year, maple producers in our Commonwealth positively contribute to our state’s economy through employment and sales,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Chairman for the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. "Declaring March as 'Massachusetts Maple Month' is a wonderful way to honor maple producers in our Commonwealth, and I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting the maple industry and providing an opportunity for Massachusetts to express our gratitude to maple farmers.”
“It is officially my favorite time of year — maple season! Agriculture is such a fundamental piece of the Western Mass economy, and this month we get to focus on one of its most fun — and most tasty — parts: maple syrup,” said State Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow). “I’m looking forward to enjoying Maple Month and making sure my colleagues on Beacon Hill understand the importance of this agricultural product for our Commonwealth.”
"As Representative for the 2nd Hampden District, I would like to thank the Governor and his administration for recognizing and promoting the importance of locally produced maple products, especially products produced here in Western Mass,” said State Representative Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow). “The revenue and employment created by this industry is significant to this part of the commonwealth and is a large contributor to our tourism revenue. I am proud my district has been chosen to kick-off ‘Massachusetts Maple Month’ and look forward to celebrating with Ferrindino Maple."
The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association (MMPA) will hold its 5th Annual Maple Weekend March 16-17, 2019, and will feature open house events at sugarhouses throughout central and western Massachusetts.