2022 year is the 35th anniversary of the North American Maple Syrup Council’s Research and Education Fund, the only funding source dedicated solely to supporting the maple sugaring industry. Our annual grant program provides resources to researchers for scientific projects that help boost sugarmakers’ efficiency, quality, and safety, and to producer associations to help educate and inform producers about best practices.
Over the last several decades the grant program has invested more than a million dollars in critical research to support the maple industry progress. Our grants are modest in size, but they have helped catalyze projects that have had a significant impact on how syrup is produced, from taphole sanitation and tapping practices, to evaporator efficiency and proper bottling protocols, and much more. In many cases, because NAMSC is recognized as representing thousands of sugarmakers throughout the maple producing region, our early contributions have helped researchers leverage significant funding from other sources. In others, our support provided the flexible funding needed to fill gaps left by other more restrictive funders.
The research we have supported has helped the industry grow tremendously during that time. Not only are producers setting more taps they are making more syrup from each of those taps, in large part due to the kinds of research we fund. But as funding for University Extension programs has steadily decreased, competition for research grants from all sources has increased dramatically, placing greater demands on our limited resources. While the industry has grown significantly, the Fund’s revenue has not kept up, and many requests have gone unsupported in recent years.
In 2018 the Fund began making small grants to member associations to help disseminate best practices and practical skills trainings to producers, and the name of the fund was changed to the Research and Education Fund.
Every dollar distributed by the Fund has come from maple industry stakeholders – producers, equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers, producer associations, and others. These contributions have allowed us all to be an integral part of the success of the industry. Alliance Partners have committed to making annual contributions to the Fund, which helps maintain consistent funding and has contributed to the sustainability of our grantmaking.
Contributors receive recognition in the quarterly Maple Syrup Digest, which is distributed to more than 3,000 sugarmakers, as well as on our website. Contributors are also encouraged to use the NAMSC logo in their advertising and promotional literature, and are invited to participate in the nomination and selection process of NAMSC’s annual awards.
Contributors commit to donating a flat amount each year, or one or two cents per maple container sold over the course of the previous year.
Maple Research Alliance Partners
Every time you set a tap, fire your evaporator, or put syrup into bottles, you are benefiting from research that helped us all learn how to do these things better. Much of that research has been supported by the North American Maple Syrup Council’s Research and Education Fund. The Fund has given out more than $1 million in grants the last 35 years, catalyzing the research that has helped the maple industry grow and thrive.
The fund gets its resources from industry stakeholders – equipment a manufactures, producer associations, dealers, and individual producers. Alliance Partners commit to making annual contributions that help assure the long-term sustainability of the Fund.
If you’re interested in becoming an Alliance Partner, or in making a one-time donation to the fund, contact NAMSC Executive Director Winton Pitcoff at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Treasurer Joe Polak at email@example.com.
Mainline: $5,000 or more
Dominion & Grimm
Lateral Line: $2,500-$4,999
Sugar Bush Supplies
Farm Credit East
The Forest Farmers
New Hampshire Maple Producers Association
Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association
Bucket: up to $999
Haigh’s Maple Syrup
Indiana Maple Syrup Association
Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
Mohawk Valley Trading Co
Randall’s Heritage Maple
Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association
Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association