AUGUSTA — Lyle and Jo-Ann Merrifield of Gorham received the Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award today at the 76th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show Commissioner’s Luncheon. Governor Paul R. LePage joined Commissioner Walt Whitcomb to present them with the award in recognition of their many contributions to Maine agriculture, particularly the maple syrup industry. The annual award has been given since 2001.
“Maine agriculture is growing to meet the demand for quality, nutritious, Maine-produced products,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “One example of the rapid growth in Maine agriculture is the maple syrup industry. Since 2010, Maine maple syrup production has more than doubled (114% increase) and the number of taps has increased 26.5%. Lyle and Jo-Ann Merrifield are leaders in this part of the Maine economy, helping advance the value and visibility of the entire maple industry. Their work, along with the Maine Maple Producers Association, is creating more jobs and opportunity for Maine people.”
“Today the agricultural community thanks Lyle and Jo-Ann Merrifield for their many contributions to the Maine maple industry and Maine agriculture,” said DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “They are an outstanding team, who lead by setting an example for the hundreds of enthusiasts who produce and sell maple syrup products. Their Maine Maple Sunday exhibit promotes education and creates a destination experience.”
Lyle and Jo-Ann Merrifield:
Lyle and Jo-Ann Merrifield own and operate Merrifield Farm and Sugar Shack in Gorham, Maine. Lyle has been President of the Maine Maple Producers Association President for the past eight years. Both Jo-Ann and Lyle were past Presidents of the Southern Maine Maple Producers Association. The whole Merrifield family is part of the Cumberland County Farmers Club. Lyle Merrifield is the superintendent of the museum, blacksmith shop, and show steers at the Cumberland Fair.
The Merrifields and the Maine Maple Producers Association have actively promoting Maine Maple Sunday and MapleMania. Most recently, Lyle and Jo-Ann have been in the Maine Maple Producers booth at the Eastern State Exposition ‘Big E’ in Massachusetts, New England’s largest fair.
Maine Agricultural Trades Show:
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show highlights Maine agriculture and the people involved through demonstrations, presentations and meetings of nearly 40 major agricultural organizations. There are over 120 exhibits featuring the newest in agricultural products, equipment and services. One of the state’s largest agricultural exhibitions, the event is expected to draw more than 5,000 people over the course of three days (January 10-12). Admission is free and open to the public.
This three-day event has something for everyone, the farmer, non-farmer, hobbyist, educator or supplier. Attendees can walk through, observe and learn about how food is harvested and processed. Farmers and producers can see the most up-to-date farm equipment and processing methods and equipment.
Trades Show floor hours:
- Tuesday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 11, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, January 12, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The complete program and schedule are available at: http://www.getrealmaine.com/
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
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