An open letter to the maple industry from Michael Farrell, Director of Cornell University Uihlein Forest Maple Research Center in Lake Placid, N.Y:
Dear Maple Producers
I took over as Director of Cornell’s Uihlein Forest in January 2005. Over the past ~12 years, I’ve met thousands of producers with a passion for the industry, and who share my dedication and enthusiasm. I have truly enjoyed the time spent at Cornell and my opportunity to serve maple producers. However, all good things eventually come to an end, and though it was a very difficult decision, I have decided to move on to a new opportunity.
As of July 1, 2017, I will be stepping down from my role at Cornell and starting as CEO of Adirondack Management, a recently formed company focusing on sustainable investments in the forestry sector in the Northeast. The company is a partnership between myself and two successful businessmen who share our passion for the maple industry. Although the name was chosen based on the primary focus area in the Adirondacks, we will work throughout the maple belt. The overall objective of the company is to acquire forestland and manage it for sustainable yields of multiple forest products, in particular maple and birch sap/syrup.
We will be focusing on both production and marketing, with the goal of developing new markets for maple and birch products. Although we will have some sales to traditional markets in the Northeast, our primary focus is in developing new markets for sap and syrup outside of the maple belt, both nationally and internationally. We are optimistic about the future of the industry, and I look forward to continuing to develop the maple resource, now from the private sector.
I will continue to serve as the director of the Uihlein Forest until June 30, 2017, and have provided a lengthy notice to ensure a smooth transition with the new director. I dedicated myself over the past decade towards building up and improving the Uihlein Forest, and I feel it is essential the Uihlein thrives as a valuable resource for the entire maple industry. I will continue to live near the Uihlein Forest and plan to stay active and engaged with the Cornell Maple Program, providing support for any projects that I am requested to assist with. The director’s position is now being advertised with the goal of having the new director start in advance of or during the 2017 sugaring season, allowing for plenty of overlap to ensure a smooth transition. If you know of someone that would be a good candidate for the position, please share this announcement with him or her.
Thank you very much for your continued support.