Rodney producer recognized for 30 years of service to industry
The Rodney native is producing maple syrup from the same woods from which his great great grandfather produced in the late 1800s and since 1987 he has taken a small operation and fostered its growth in the heart of Cumberland County’s maple industry.
Because of that commitment and his work with the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia as a producer, innovator and mentor, he was inducted into the provincial hall of fame during the organization’s annual meeting in Springhill on Saturday.
“Anytime you are recognized by your peers it’s really special,” McCormick said. “I have to admit I had the deer in the headlights look when they first announced it. I had no idea it was coming.”
As past-president he generally knows everything that’s going on inside the maple association. When the meetings began and he hadn’t heard any discussion about a hall of fame nominee he started wondering if it was something he had forgotten to do.
Unknown to him, Robert Frame and Dale McIsaac were working behind the scenes to prepare his induction.
“Kevin is well respected for the professionalism of his operation and the quality of his syrup,” McIsaac said in the nomination. “He keeps informed of the latest trends in the industry and readily adopts new technology when he is satisfied that it is a sound and reliable improvement.”
Along with being a leading supplier of maple equipment and supplies within Nova Scotia, he has provided exemplary leadership to the Maple Producers Association – serving multiple terms as director and president. He has lead educational activities, organized maple conference around the province and arranged the association’s annual meetings and fall tours.
McCormick has also been an active participate in the association’s research committee and represented the industry with government.
McCormick said he spent hours in the sugar woods as a child, admitting he sometimes skipped school to go work in the woods.
“I love it in the woods. It’s the great outdoors,” he said. “I’ve worked in the shop around machinery for years, but this is much better. You just have to love the fresh air. We are a woods family and I think they enjoy it as much as I do.”
While there have been some challenging times in the industry, mainly a result of severe weather conditions, he said things are going very well right now. It’s too early to predict what kind of season producers will have this year, but he said last year was a very good year for most producers.
“It’s a healthy industry right now. There’s a lot of expansion going on,” he said. “Most have seen a good jump in sales. A lot of it has to do with all the news coming out about the benefits of natural sugar and you can’t get more natural than maple sugar.”