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A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. Photo: Todd Moe
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. Photo: Todd Moe

Loans up to $40,000 available for NC maple producers

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Many North Country Maple producers can now tap into a new loan fund to help them increase the amount of syrup they produce. The Development authority of the North Country, or DANC, set up the program after several studies showed most maple trees in the area aren't being tapped. That means producers are missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Nora Flaherty has the details.

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Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

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The microenterprise loan program is open to maple producers in St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson Counties.

Jim Wright is executive director of DANC. He says there are very few full-time maple producers—most are dairy farmers who do maple production as a sideline. And that means when times are tough for dairy, increasing capacity can make a big difference. "If by doing this we can make it easier for those in agricultural production to expand capacity…some of the problems dairy farmers encounter," Wright said. 

DANC will make low-interest-rate loans to maple producers of up to $40,000. The loans can be used for anything connected to collecting and producing maple syrup. They have to be repaid within five years. Wright says the loans will benefit the regional economy as well as producers. "It’s pretty straightforward, there’s not anything magical about it…growing the region. We think that’s a good mix for everyone."  

DANC will work with county cooperative extensions to review loan applications—and they’ll be looking at them on a first-come, first-served basis. The total loan fund is $200,000.

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