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At the recent Maple Producers’ Association of Nova Scotia annual general meeting held at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Bible Hill, Avard and Jean Bentley of Westchester Station were recognized for their contributions to the maple industry.
Mr. and Mrs. Bentley’s involvement with the maple industry spans more than three decades. Their sugar camp was built on Westchester Mountain in 1978, pipeline was installed in 1980 and the first boil took place in the spring of 1981. Throughout the years, the family run maple business has prospered and grown to be one of Nova Scotia’s largest operations. Taps have increased from the original 1,500 and sap was collected and boiled from35,000 taps in 2010.
The Bentleys have been very active in the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia (MPANS) having
served in a variety of positions. Avard has served on the MPANS board of directors several times, and has been Vice-President and President. Jean was secretary/treasurer for many years.
Avard attended the first ever North American Maple Syrup Council meeting in 1986 and has been a director of NAMSC ever since. The annual general meetings of North American Maple Syrup Council and International Maple Syrup Institute and the associated technical sessions have been held in Nova Scotia on two occasions, 1993 and 2003. Avard and Jean were very active in the planning on each occasion, with Avard serving as Co-Chair of both organizing committees. The NAMSC/IMSI annual conference will be held in Nova Scotia again in 2014 and Avard is once again on the organizing committee. In 2001, Avard was inducted into the American Maple Hall of Fame in Croghan, New York.