CMSPM Founders Story
It all started as an idea that a couple of Michigan Maple Syrup Producers had several years ago. Mike Ross and Craig Waldren saw the enormous potential in Michigan for producing syrup and leading the industry in technology. After all, Michigan has the overall best quality Hard Sugar Maple trees in the world and has more Hard Sugar Maple Trees than any other geographical area in the world. Why not explore the possibilities?
After several years of introducing the concept to Michigan’s States Legislature and several Michigan Universities. In early summer of 2013 they rallied together three other syrup producers to discuss and brain storm a formalized approach to growing the maple industry in Michigan. Dan Tassier, Todd Petersen, and Joe Woods came on board to form a steering committee of five producers.
With a solid team in place, the steering committee of five began to dissect the many possibilities and reach out to the state legislature and universities for their input. The five spent many hours in countless meetings in Indian River trying to decide if a commercial business focused organization would be the best fit to launch Michigan maple syrup into the future. After considering all of the information that was gathered, the group decided move forward with formalizing what is now the Commercial Maple Syrup Producers of Michigan, aka CMSPM. That meant formalizing bylaws, policies, procedures, objectives, and long term goals that would give all of its members equal representation everywhere in Michigan (see the attached CMSPM goals and objectives). The group of five filed with the state for a non-profit corporation and began to reach out across Michigan to find other new members to help.
Late in 2014, with many new members in place, CMSPM elected its first board of directors and established many sub committees to begin to work all together to promote and grow all aspects of the Maple syrup industry in Michigan. Michigan has all of the resources, at all levels, to become the world leader in all aspects of maple syrup production and technology. The founders could see this and now the journey to get there has begun. Please consider joining us.
Board of Directors
Region 2: Lower Peninsula
|Steve has been making syrup for just over 17 years in the Central Michigan area. While many sugar makers have generations before them, Steve ventured out and made his first batch of maple syrup on a turkey fryer. Today, he currently has a tap count of 4,000 and buys sap from the surrounding area. In addition to his day job in sales at an electrical warehouse, Steve also recently partnered with CDL as a sales rep in the central Michigan area.|
|Sean started making syrup as a hobby in 1996 in the same woodlot that his grandfather had last tapped in the 1950's. Over the years he has expanded to 2,200 taps and continually upgrades with more efficient equipment. Sean gets help from his sons and other family members. Sean also runs a hoof trimming business for dairy cattle in north east Michigan.|
|Luke LaTocha is out small producer representative. He owns a small maple operation, “A sweet Means to an Education”, out of Mackinaw City. His operation is 6 years old with about 820 taps. He and his father stated this business back in 2013 with the intention of generating revenue for his college fund.|
|Craig is a third generation syrup maker and started making maple syrup with his dad in 1976. Craig's dad was raised on a farm and firmly believed that kids needed chores and other jobs at an early age in order to develop a strong work ethic. "My dad would be amazed at the technology changes in the maple industry over the last 15 years but the need for that strong work ethic will never change"
2019 will be the 44th syrup season for Far Hills Maple Syrup located in the northern lower peninsula. The operation currently has over 20,000 taps and should produce 8000 to 10,000 gallons of organic maple syrup.
|Amanda - Michigan Maple Systems||989-370-2811|