Planning for the Future

Strategic Planning Meeting #2

Many thanks to Arnold and Elaine Luce for donating two perfect condition Blue, White, and Red Trademark gallon tins to MMPA

1. Lyle Opening-
goal of the night is to discuss and implement some of the major items from the new ideas list from the first meeting
2. Chapters- (Completion Goal of 2011) need to continue working with Southern Maine group to see these two organizations come together, canʼt get stuck on terminology, concerns that this has been discussed for nearly a decade with no progress, can we do this without dividing the entire state into chapters, could organize a task force to draft plan, goal is to encourage more local action,
3. Trade Shows- Maple Events (Completion Goal of June 2011) this work needs to begin sooner rather than later for implementation next June, need organizing committee and volunteers, NY state legislature is embracing maple and is really growing and we need to be too
4. Certified Producer Program- (Completion Goal of 2011- 2012) concerns that many sugarhouses in the state of Maine are not licensed and selling below grade syrup. Could use a sticker that showed certified sugarhouses that went on jug with a larger sign in sugarhouse explaining what it meant, process must be simple enough for small producer but stringent enough to mean something to the public, small fee to
cover administration costs, program should set quality syrup apart from lower grades,
5. Maple Blog- (No time frame stated ) this might be something easy to complete, could this be part of Maple Trader and be linked, need to be able to edit the material if we do it ourselves
6. Political Action- (Completion Goal of 2011-2012) we have experienced a lack of support from our state govʼt, this could change in near future, LePage would like to meet with MMPA to discuss our concerns for the future of the state, need Jeremy Steeves and his political savvy, need more data for maple industry and its true value to state, could involve UMaine to help put this together, Dorchester Coop is coming to harsh reality that getting E-2 Visaʼs are going to be near impossible very soon if they canʼt show more revenue to Maine, may need executive secretary,
7. Maples of Somerset County- why canʼt State of Maine save these trees and their land from harvesting, they save views, marshland, animals, wildlife, etc., Why not save our maple trees from foresters?
8. Promotion of ME Products- (Completion Goal of 2012-2013) FDA Inspection needed for syrup crossing state borders to be sold, literature/information bank that shows where syrup can be bought,
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ag in the Classroom, Mentors,
9. Demonstration Trailer-(Completion Goal of 2013-2014) need to have a demonstration trailer that is all set up and ready to move to an event,
10. Increase Member Involvement- this should be a goal every year, many are active in the industry but not necessarily involved in the association, with increased events and success comes more members and more hands,
11. Generational Transfer/ Planning 2019 Annual Meeting
12. Stainless Steel Barrels- could MMPA buy trailer load of barrels and resell to members to help offset costs?
13. Skowhegan Fair Sugarhouse- its needed

Strategic Planning Meeting #1
Topics of Discussion:
Good Ideas from the past
     1. Maine Maple Sunday
     2. Implementation of Extra Dark Amber Grade
     3. Holding Meetings at the Farm Bureau
     4. Legislative Action of limiting high end Brix
     5. Website Improvements
     6. Association Sugarhouse in Farmington
     7. Increase Presence at Agricultural Fairs
     8. Association Sugarhouse in Cumberland and starting of Southern Maine Chapter
     9. MMPA Trailer for demonstrations and events at Sugarloaf
     10. Partnership with Extension Office
     11. Grading School and Grading Booklet
     12. Red, White, and Blue Colors
     13. LaKermese
     14. Somerset County Subchapter
     15. Cookbooks
New Ideas
     1. Manufactured by...required on jugs
     2. Continue Website Advancements
     3. Institute a Red, White, and Blue Labeling theme
     4. Attend more Franco/American opportunities
     5. Promote an Aroostook subchapter
     6. Presidents of Maine’s three maple association meet more often
Challenges Ahead
     1. Better list of all producers
     2. DOA licensing and inspections need follow through
     3. Unlicensed/ Poor Quality producers need educating
     4. Conversion to SS barrels needed
     5. Vast size of our state requiring people to travel so far.
Ideas for the Future
     1. Aroostook subchapter
     2. Increase directors
     3. Board of directors should include presidents from other chapters
     4. Better program for implementation of subchapters
     5. Increase membership
     6. Talk to VMSMA and see how they are organized
     7. Maine products should be promoted more on cruise ships
     8. Develop a bulk syrup clearinghouse for Maine
     9. Have a library of Maple literature
     10. Develop a certified producer program
     11. Start a Notes from the Sugarbush” blog
     12. Other blog spots on website
     13. Work more with Ag in Classroom
     14. Educational DVD or Video
     15. Promote more youth involvement with mentorships of internships
     16. Two annual meetings- field day in June and trade show day in January
     17. Two day Trade Show in summer like Maple Rama
     18. Work to connect the northern producers with southern producers
Next Steps
     1. Develop a long term strategic plan
     2. 2-3 more meetings to develop ideas and wish list
     3. Set priorities and goals
     4. Meet again around Memorial Day