The Vermont Maple Festival and the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers' Association yearly choose two individuals to represent the Maple Industry for the State of Vermont.
Your 2021 Maple Ambassadors
Congratulations to Dustin Beloin & Abigail Gagne for winning the VT Maple Ambassador Contest for 2021-2022! They both will be representing the VT Maple Industry in promotion, publicity & education at events for the VT Maple Festival & VT Maple Sugarmakers Association.
Dustin lives in Jay, VT. He works for his family sugar bush with 3,700 taps, at his grandfather, Jacques Couture’s sugar bush with about 7,000 taps & also for his neighbor Little Charlie's sugarbush with 42,000 taps. He does everything from setting up lines and tapping, to cutting firewood and building anything to make sugaring more efficient. In his involvement with FFA, some of their best fundraisers have been through making value added products with pure VT maple syrup such as maple lollipops, maple sugar coated nuts & selling maple syrup. He plans to pursue a degree in Natural Resources in college.
Abigail lives in Highgate, VT. She grew up on a 350 acre sugarbush with 22,000 taps. She went from sitting next to her grandfather & watching the sap boil, to cleaning filter presses, moving barrels, cleaning tanks, and checking lines daily after school. She has been volunteering at the VT Maple Festival ever since she was 12. In 2019, the Washington Post reached out to conduct an interview on how the maple industry has changed and how she thinks the future of maple will go. That interview was the start of her helping to represent the VT maple industry. She then went on to be in Forbes Magazine and wrote an article about how the maple industry has been affected by Covid-19 in a seasonal cooking magazine. During June of 2019, she traveled to New York City to represent young females in the maple industry at The Fancy Food Show, on behalf of Coombs Family Maple. In the spring of 2020, her family’s sugarhouse was selected to hold VT’s annual Governors Tree Tapping Ceremony, which she participated in organizing.
Who are the ambassadors?
In the past these two representatives have always been known as the Maple King & Maple Queen. It has been decided that these representatives will be known as "Vermont Maple Ambassadors" to better reflect their actual roles, and the expectations of the Maple industry. Two individuals, a male and a female, will be chosen to represent the Vermont Maple industry at functions throughout Vermont and New England for one year. A $2500.00 scholarship donated by Vermont Maple Sugarmakers Association and The Vermont Maple Festival and the Franklin County Maple Sugarmakers Assoc. will be awarded to each recipient. This Scholarship competition is open to any Vermont student ages 16-21. The candidate does not have to come from a sugaring family, but they must have knowledge and experience about maple sugaring.
Who they represent
The Vermont Maple Ambassadors have the honor, the responsibility, and the fun of representing the Green Mountain State’s signature product during their reigning year.
What they promote
The Vermont Maple Ambassadors promote, publicize, and educate the public with their maple knowledge. They take part in Fairs, Festivals, Field Days, and are in attendance at most significant events where maple is a part of the occasion. The Vermont Building at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts is one of the places where the Maple Ambassador will frequently play host and hostess.
Being chosen as a Vermont Maple Ambassador, and taking part in the activities throughout the year, is an experience that provides memories for a lifetime.
The Ambassador Scholarships
Sponsored by Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Assoc & Vermont Maple Festival