Students across the state competed for the $2,000 top prize in the Felker Award Program
Bow, NH: The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association (NHMPA) is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Walter A. Felker Memorial Award. Top honors in the School division have been awarded to Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield, NH; top honors in the Individual category have been awarded to sisters, Madison and Olivia Dunne of Newton, NH.
The awards are the culmination of an annual program which encourages K-12 schools and students across the state to take a hands-on approach to learning about NH’s maple tradition. Earlier this spring, students tapped trees, collected sap and boiled it down to make “liquid gold.” At the end of the maple season, contestants submitted a maple syrup sample that was judged at the annual NHMPA summer meeting in July.
For Madison and Olivia Dunne, the process was “a lot of work but very rewarding because it taste so good.” The young women were originally inspired by their dad to take up the syrup challenge. For Crotched Mountain School, it took a community effort to produce their award-winning syrup with both former Crotched Mountain student, Richard Siebert and NHMPA mentor, Chris Pfeil, owner of The Maple Guys in Wilton, NH lending a hand.
Commonly referred to as the Felker Award, the program and the monetary prize aim to encourage interest by New Hampshire youth in the production of the Granite State’s great maple sugaring tradition. No prior knowledge of maple sugaring is necessary to compete. The award is named for Walter Felker, a founder of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association in 1943. Previous youth winners include renowned NH sugarmakers Alvin Clark and Bruce Bascom.
In 2017, the program was redesigned to include K-12 classroom maple production as well as individual student production. To complement the program, New Hampshire Agriculture in the Classroom developed “Tapping in Maple Tradition,” an extensive maple classroom curriculum with videos for local schools.
About the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, Inc: The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, Inc. is a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting the high quality of New Hampshire’s maple tradition. The NHMPA organizes several public events throughout the year including NH Maple Weekend, when all our sugar houses are open to the public, NH Maple Month, the Felker Award and the tapping of the first maple by the governor. Learn more at www.nhmapleproducers.com.
Felker individual winner Dunne (left to right): Jim Fadden (NHMPA President), Debbi Cox (NH Ag in the Classroom), Jason Dunne, Madison Dunne, Olivia Dunne, Jeff Moore (NHMPA Board Member), Bruce Treat (NHMPA Board Member)
Felker school winner Crotched Mountain (left to right): student Hannah, Beth Simpson (Crotched Mountain faculty advisor), Bruce Treat (NHMPA Board Member)