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Sam Cutting IV: Vermont's maple industry leader speaks

Cutting: At Dakin Farm we sell over 70,000 containers of syrup each year. Our growth rate in sales is between 5 percent and 10 percent each year. We do not hire extra employees during maple season. Our regular staff works a lot of overtime during maple season.

Varricchio:Where do you buy your raw sap? I believe you have your own sugarbush in Ferrisburgh, but where else does Dakin syrup originate?

Cutting: Our raw sap comes from Harry Atkinson in Monkton. We only make about seven 30 gallon barrels of syrup ourselves since we do not own a large sugarbush.

We purchase most of our syrup, over 400 barrels from these large family farms in Franklin county; the largest maple producing county in Vermont. The syrup all comes in to Dakin Farm in the spring soon after it is made. We store it in bulk, underground to keep it at a cool, consistent temperature. Then, each week we bring 10-12 barrels down to our packing room and pack it in retail containers. This way, we pack our own syrup, we know what is in the containers, we have control over the quality and the syrup always leaves Dakin Farm freshly packed. Also, by packing the syrup ourselves, we avoid the "middle man" so our costs are low and we can pass this on in the form of low retail prices for our maple products.

We believe we have the best quality maple syrup from the best maple producers in the state, packed fresh with a high degree of knowledge at the best price.

Varricchio: Why was production this much? Climate? More trees tapped? What? Also, have we been at this number of gallons before?

Cutting: Technology and more trees tapped contributed to the abundance of maple syrup. Climate was also good, but, I think it had more to do with technology and number of trees tapped.

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