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March 27, 2019

Spartans tap Michigan’s maple syrup potential

Michigan State University is tapping the expertise of researchers to benefit the maple syrup industry and the rural economy in Michigan.

Maple syrup is one of North America's oldest agricultural products, and Michigan ranks in the top 10 in the nation in its production. About one-fifth of all sugar maple trees are located in the state, making Michigan a source of untapped maple syrup potential that could aid in rural economic development.

MSU operates roughly 10,000 taps at the Fred Russ and W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forests that are used in the making of Spartan Pure Maple Syrup. Throughout the production process, the MSU Department of Forestry and AgBioResearch study sustainable and alternative forest management options.

This research benefits the maple syrup industry by helping shape procedures and guidelines that are more efficient and less impactful to the environment. It also engages Michigan communities through its public volunteer program, which drives the Kellogg Forest production process entirely.

Spartan Pure Maple Syrup is sold at the MSU Surplus Store. Proceeds support the production of maple syrup, as well as the Department of Forestry.

By: Ellen Doepke and Chris Buller


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