Ferrisburgh businessman Sam Cutting, IV, president of Dakin Farm, was honored by Vermont's maple industry last week. He was recognized for both his leadership in Vermont's maple business and for his personal contributions to Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness.
Cutting received the 2010 Maple Person of the Year Award by the Vermont Maple Industry Council. The council protects and promotes the Vermont Maple brand. It announces the winner of the award each year in late January at the annual farm show in Barre. The award is made to an individual who has made significant contributions to the state's maple industry.
"I've presented these awards at the farm show before, but I didn't know I was in the running," Cutting said. "It is very humbling to receive this honor."
Cutting said he became more involved in the maple end of his family's Dakin Farm business 10 years ago.
"I'm not out in the woods all the time like so many in our industry," he said, "which is why I was especially surprised about the award. But I am happy to be of service to Vermont's maple industry."
Cutting said DakinFarm-perhaps the state's most visible purveyor of maple syrup-purchases sap from Harry Atkinson of Monkton as well as other suppliers around Vermont.
"We pack it at Dakin Farms," Cutting noted.
Since 2000, Cutting became a high-profile part of the state's maple industry.
In addition to taking over the reigns of the family's manufacturing, mail-order and retail-store operations-which the family purchased in 1960 after it was started by Timothy Dakin in 1792-Sam Cutting IV served as past treasurer and marketing consultant to the Vermont Maple Foundation.
Cutting maintains strong ties to the council and is its current vice chairman. In 2010, he was elected to the Vermont Agricultural Development Board.
Recently, Cutting demonstrated his patriotic support of U.S. military personnel in a big way-as chairman of Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness; he oversaw the shipment of more than 8,000 pints of fresh Vermont maple syrup to American men and women in uniform overseas. While most Vermont soldiers are back home, the operation hopes to ship maple syrup onMemorial Day of this year.
Ferrisburgh-based Dakin Farm is a successful mail-order and store retailer of pure Vermont maple syrup, smoked meat, cheese and other Vermont specialty foods. Despite an economy struggling to recover, Cutting said the family business has been doing well.
"Christmas 2009 was a good one and Christmas 2010 was even better," he said.