Want to keep up with the latest news for farmers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the agriculture industry.

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Launches New Initiative
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has launched a new initiative to assist the forest products industry in creating and retaining quality jobs and opening additional markets for locally produced wood products. A collaboration between the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Northern Forest Center, and the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board, the new Forest Products Value Chain Investment Program will include business assistance to wood products manufacturers, market research and development, the creation of an industry-wide network, and a comprehensive communications strategy designed to raise the profile of the industry in Vermont and the region. 

Massachusetts Maple Producers Win Top Honors
One Massachusetts maple syrup producer took a top honor for her product and another was recognized for his decades of dedication to the industry at the North American Maple Syrup Council’s annual competition held in Burlington, Vermont. Melissa Leab of Hancock won first place in the Maple Cream category. Sugarmakers from the United States and Canada submitted 170 entries into the contest. Leab and her husband Rob own and run Ioka Valley Farm and Leab is also President of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association. Sugarmaker Tom McCrumm, owner and operator of South Face Farm in Ashfield, was chosen for inclusion in the American Maple Hall of Fame for his decades of commitment to supporting and promoting the maple industry.