The Maine maple syrup that enhances the flavor of pancakes and ice cream also adds to the statewide economy.
University of Maine economist Todd Gabe says, including multiplier effects, Maine’s maple industry annually contributes about $49 million in revenue, 805 full- and part-time jobs and $25 million in wages to the state’s economy.
Multiplier effects occur when an increase in one economic activity initiates a chain reaction of additional spending. In this case, the additional spending is by maple farms, businesses that are part of the maple industry and their employees.
“The maple producers were really helpful in providing me with information about their operations, which allowed for a really detailed analysis of their economic impact,” says Gabe, whose study was released in February.
Each year, the industry directly contributes about $27.7 million in revenue, 567 full- and part-time jobs, and $17.3 million in wages to Maine’s economy, Gabe says.
Maple producers earn about 75 percent of the revenue through sales of syrup and other maple products, including maple candy, maple taffy, maple whoopie pies and maple-coated nuts, he says.
Retail sales at food stores and the estimated spending of Maine Maple Sunday visitors on items such as gasoline and meals accounts for the remainder of revenue. This year, Maine Maple Sunday will be celebrated Sunday, March 23 at 88 sugar shacks and farms across the Pine Tree state.
Maine has the third-largest maple industry in the United States. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, maple syrup is produced in 10 states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin.
In 2013, Maine accounted for 450,000 gallons, or 14 percent, of the 3,253,000 million gallons produced in the U.S. Vermont (1,320,000 gallons) and New York (574,000) were the top two producers. Among the three top-producing states, Maine had the highest growth rate (25 percent) of production between 2011 and 2013, Gabe reports.
In Maine, the maple production industry appears to be dominated by a few large operations; the 10 percent of maple farms with 10,000 or more taps account for 86 percent of the total number of taps in the state, he says.
While the maple producers that participated in Gabe’s study had an average of 4,109 taps, almost 40 percent of Maine’s maple producers had fewer than 250 taps. The study participants have been tapping trees and boiling sap for an average of 24 years.
Depending on temperature and water availability, the length of the sap flow season varies; in 2013 it ran from March 4 to April 12 in Maine.
Close to 40 percent of the maple producers that are licensed in Maine returned surveys for the study, which received financial support from the Maine Agricultural Development Grant Fund and the Maine Maple Producers Association.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
James Warhola, a political science professor and chair of the the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article “Russian actions of significant interest to U.S.” Warhola, an expert on Russian, Turkish and Eurasian politics, said Russia and the U.S. have collaborated against terrorist threats, especially from Islamic extremists. He said the U.S. and Russian anti-terrorism cooperation has been broader and more effective than many people realize.
Habib Dagher, director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, was quoted in a Bloomberg Businessweek article about the offshore wind pilot project proposed by Maine Aqua Ventus, a consortium that includes UMaine and partner companies. In the article, “Floating wind farms venture farther out to sea,” Dagher said Maine Aqua Ventus companies will save tens of millions of dollars by using floating concrete platforms as opposed to renting barges and cranes to install fixed-foundation turbines. He said ideally the unit will be towed back to shore every 20 years to have a next-generation turbine installed.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot published the article “Saying bon voyage to the Hutchinson Center’s Nancy Boyington, a real friend” about Boyington’s retirement after 25 years within the University of Maine System. Boyington spent 14 of those years at UMaine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast where she was assistant director of the center. Boyington said working at the center was the best job she ever had. “If you know you’re doing good work and making a difference, it’s the best,” she said.
University of Maine graduate student Noah Oppenheim was interviewed for a Hawaii News Now story about marine scientists and students attending the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu who participated in dives to clean up debris littering a coral reef. Oppenheim, who is pursuing dual degrees in marine biology and marine policy at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, helped remove trash from the reef, including fast food containers, bits of plastic, aluminum cans, a car battery, an outboard motor and an automobile tire.
WVII (Channel 7) reported University of Maine School of Performing Arts students will perform the child-friendly folktale “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower” on campus March 22, as well as at schools around the state during spring break. Carol Korty, professor emerita at Emerson College and a guest artist at UMaine, wrote and directs the folktale about a young girl who doesn’t fit in, and a witch that lives in a walking house. Korty said she hopes the performances will be a learning experience for audience members and the UMaine students in the play. “For our college students, they see the effect of theater on young children, and notice the difference,” she said.
The Weekly published an article on the University of Maine Museum of Art’s role within the community and its current exhibitions — “From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection,” Hannah Cole’s “Time’s Wife” and Kenny Cole’s “Parabellum (Prepare for War).” George Kinghorn, the museum’s director and curator, said the museum isn’t just about the building and what it contains, but how it can grow a sense of place and a notion of community. He added, “The museum brings works to Bangor that Maine people otherwise may not have a chance to see.”
Kathryn Hopkins, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about Maine’s maple syrup season and how the colder weather, mixed with warm spells, has been affecting it. Hopkins said some producers in southern Maine have been able to make syrup during the brief warm temperatures, but a lot of people are still waiting for warmer weather before they begin to tap. She said she’s not worried about the late start, and if the weather warms up in a few weeks, there would still be a six-week season.
WABI (Channel 5) previewed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s program on alternative fuels for farming equipment and transportation to be held in Dover-Foxcroft on March 13. The program is free and co-sponsored by the Maine Highlands Farmers.
Seacoast Online published a report on the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition that will be hosted by the University of New Hampshire’s computer science department March 14–16. The University of Maine’s Cyber Defense Team is slated to compete in the event. One winner and one alternate will be selected to represent the Northeast region at the national competition in Texas during April.
WABI (Channel 5) previewed the University of Maine’s third annual Summer Camp Fair for Kids scheduled March 12 in the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus. Representatives from more than 60 Maine summer camps are expected to be on hand to provide informational materials and answer questions about the programming available for children and teens. The event is free and open to the public.
The Weekly carried a report on the Penobscot Valley Senior College and the spring courses it is offering starting March 11. The college is affiliated with the University of Maine Center on Aging and the Maine Senior College Network. It offers noncredit courses and learning opportunities such as local history, painting and health care for people 50 years and older.
The Portland Press Herald advanced the 17th annual Portland Flower Show. The show will include an auction on Sunday, March 9 that will feature items donated by local garden centers, as well as plants and materials used in the show. Funds raised from the auction benefit the University of Maine Cooperative Extension demonstration garden in Falmouth and the Maine Harvest for Hunger Gardens program.
The Portland Press Herald published a book review of “Sturge: A Memoir.” The book focuses on the life of Sturgis (Sturge) Haskins, a pioneer for gay rights who co-founded the University of Maine’s Wilde-Stein Club in 1974.
The University of Maine’s on-campus housing policy was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News editorial on the need for the University of Maine System to offer more housing and decrease lightly used space. To accommodate a larger freshman class and to keep more sophomores on campus, recently UMaine announced it will give sophomores — as opposed to juniors and seniors — first pick at remaining dorm rooms after all freshmen are placed.
Five hundred middle school girls from across Maine are expected to participate in the 27th Expanding Your Horizons conference at the University of Maine on March 13.
The conference features workshops for students and teachers focused on introducing youth to careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. It is coordinated by the UMaine Women’s Resource Center and involves more than 100 volunteers, including university faculty, staff and upward of 40 UMaine students, as well as community professionals.
The activities for students begin at 9 a.m. in Hauck Auditorium with an introductory scientific presentation on traps and vernal pools. Throughout the day, groups of 20 girls will be guided by UMaine students and staff through three workshops. Two of the workshops are STEM-related, while the third focuses on gender equity and the importance of strong friendships.
Topics of the STEM-related workshops range from physics and chemistry to aquaculture and submarines. Throughout the day, girls will have opportunities to meet and hear stories from successful women working in science and math fields.
The gender equity workshop, led by UMaine student volunteers, is a discussion focused on gender dynamics and, this year, will be linked to the issue of cyberbullying.
Girls also will have the opportunity to explore the university campus. “A lot of times, these girls are just so excited to be on a college campus,” says Sharon Barker, director of the Women’s Resource Center. “Many of them may have never been here before, so one of the things we try to do is demystify and try to make them feel comfortable here.”
Teachers attending the conference will participate in a forum featuring a series of professional and educational development discussions in collaboration with the Maine Girls Collaborative Project. This forum, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wells Conference Center, is open to the public. Registration fee is $20.
Teachers who attend this event will learn about model programs, available grant funds and how to obtain them, and resources available to them in Maine. Erika Allison of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education will offer a workshop with strategies for extending the impact of one-time events into successive learning experiences. Kay Stephens, co-author of the book “Cyberslammed,” will present on how to understand, prevent, combat, and transform the most common cyberbullying tactics.
To register for the teachers’ forum or request a disability accommodation, contact Sharon Barker at 207.581.1501.
More information about Expanding Your Horizons is online or available by contacting Sharon Barker, email@example.com; 207.581.1501.Schools EYH 2014 Brewer Community School, Brewer Caravel Middle School, Carmel Caribou Middle & Limestone Community Schools, Caribou and Limestone Central Aroostook Jr/Sr High School, Mars Hill Dedham Middle School, Dedham Ella Lewis-Pennisula, Prospect Harbor Fort Fairfield Middle School, Fort Fairfield Fort Kent Middle School, Fort Kent Fort O’Brien, Machiasport Greely Middle School, Cumberland Center Helen S. Dunn School, Greenbush Hermon Middle School, Hermon Hichborn Middle School, Howland Houlton High School, Houlton Jonesboro Elementary School, Jonesboro Lyman Moore Middle School, Portland Mountain View School, Sullivan Old Town Middle School, Old Town Orono Middle School, Orono Penquis Valley School, Milo Presque Isle Middle School, Presque Isle Rose Gaffney Elementary School, Machias Seabasticook Valley, Newport Surry Elementary, Surry Trenton Elementary, Trenton
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Clean Snowmobile Team is preparing for the Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge in April. The contest is an engineering design competition for university students that challenge them to re-engineer an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. The UMaine team is using compressed natural gas, which has less harmful emissions than gasoline, to power its snowmobile.
Research by C.K. Kwai, director of International Programs at the University of Maine, was referenced in a Chronicle of Higher Education article published in the The New York Times titled “Helping foreign students thrive on U.S. Campuses.” The article reported on Kwai’s study that examined what factors contributed to the retention of foreign undergraduates in two Midwestern university systems. Kwai found only three of several factors had a statistically significant and positive effect on student retention: grade-point average in the spring semester of freshman year, the number of attempted credit hours and on-campus employment. Kwai said because two of the factors were academic, it suggests good early academic advising could improve international student success.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Karen Keim, associate director of the Maine Educational Opportunity Center and Maine Educational Talent Search at the University of Maine, for the article “Is Mike Michaud’s free sophomore year a good idea?” Keim, who coaches adults who enroll in college, said high school students usually come to college unprepared because they don’t challenge themselves enough in high school. She said students need to have a support network and know how to access it, as well as be involved on campus, in order to succeed. “A student who gets involved in their campus community is more likely to complete,” she said.
The Morning Sentinel previewed the 20th Rural Living Day that will be held in Thorndike on March 29. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Waldo County Extension Association are holding the event that will offer more than 20 workshops and seminars on topics such as how to make cheese, brew beer, attract native pollinators and produce maple syrup.