To celebrate Maine Maple Sunday, Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Amanda Beal visited Goranson Farm in Dresden today, touring the farm and sugarhouse with owners Jan Goranson and Rob Johanson. After honoring the day with a special Maine maple sundae, Governor Mills expressed her appreciation of the Goranson Farm family and all maple producers across the state.
"Maine Maple Sunday Weekend is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the world-class products – and people – that make Maine unique. Our iconic maple syrup industry supports hundreds of jobs, strengthens our economy, and sets us apart nationwide," said Governor Mills. "It was great to celebrate two of those world-class people who contribute so much to our state's maple syrup sector over a Maine-made maple sundae! I hope that all Maine families were able to celebrate our maple syrup and our maple syrup producers this weekend."
"It was wonderful to see people out celebrating Maine maple and supporting Goranson Farm today," said Commissioner Beal. "Maple producers around the state are creating many different delicious maple products, including syrup, which is a great contribution to our state's culture and economy."
"We love celebrating Maine's first agricultural crop of the year and hosting the event at our family farm. It is so important for people to see where and learn about how food is produced and grown,” said Jan Goranson. “My mother and father started the farm, and it brings us joy to share this experience with everyone, and having Governor Mills and Commissioner Beal with us today was a special delight.”
Annually, maple syrup contributes an estimated $55 million in output, over 800 full- and part-time jobs, and more than $26 million in labor income to Maine's economy. Maine is the third-largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S.
Maple syrup producers nationwide grappled with price drops, event cancellations, and restaurant closures during the pandemic. Governor Mills dedicated federal coronavirus relief funds to Maines maple producers through her Agriculture and Food Processing Infrastructure Reimbursement Program to support Maine's maple syrup producers. Governor Mills also called on the USDA to designate maple syrup as an eligible Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) specialty crop. They agreed and made maple sap an eligible commodity for critical economic relief payments.