Vermont maple syrup producers are each being asked to donate one gallon of syrup in order to send a taste of Vermont springtime to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the fifth year, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association is organizing Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness 2009 which will package the donated syrup into one pint containers and ship them to bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 8000 pints of syrup were sent in 2008.The syrup sent last year resulted in numerous heartfelt e-mails from the troops. Thank you for the effort that people in Vermont went through with Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness. Thanks for the reminder of good things from back home. The syrup was on the breakfast line and was a big hit with my friends and me. Thanks for thinking of us and please let the rest of your co-workers know that their actions are appreciated here.Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness 2009 is a real team effort between Vermont maple producers, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, the Vermont Maple Foundation, the Vermont Maple Industry Council, Sugar Hill Containers, the Vermont Maple Festival, Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, and Vermont Agency of Agriculture. We want to thank the many other individuals and businesses who supported this project last year and are seeking sponsors for this year s project.The deadline for donations of syrup is May 1 in order to have the syrup in the soldiers hands by Memorial Day. Maple syrup producers are encouraged to donate one gallon of their best syrup and take it to the drop-off locations listed below and on www.vermontmaple.org(link is external). The general public may also donate to help defray shipping costs. For more information about sponsorships call Sam Cutting IV at (802) 425-3971 and for syrup donations call Rick Marsh (802) 644-5482. Anyone wishing to may send a donation to: Mary Croft, Treasurer, Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, 491 East Barnard Road, S. Royalton, VT, 05068.Drop-off Points for Syrup (deadline is May 1):Addison CountyDakin Farm, FerrisburghRheaume Kitchen & Flooring Center, Inc., 2106 Rte 7, South MiddleburyCaledonia CountyMaple Grove, St JohnsburyChittenden CountyDepot Home & Garden, Essex JunctionPeter Purinton, HuntingtonFranklin CountyVMSMA’s Booth at the Vermont Maple Festival – St. AlbansCDL/Maple Pro – St. AlbansLeader Evaporator – SwantonLapierre SwantonDominion & Grimm – FairfaxLamoille CountyVermont Maple Outlet – JeffersonvilleUVM Extension Office – Morrisville (Open Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm)Butternut Mountain Farm Store, JohnsonOrange CountyRoger Palmer – Randolph CenterCentral Supply-Randolph 802-728-5332Orleans CountyCouture’s Maple Shop – WestfieldFarm Yard Store – DerbyDesmarias Equipment – OrleansRutland CountyC.H. Grimm RutlandRichard Green–PoultneyWashington CountyAgency of Agriculture– MontpelierGoodrich Maple Farm CabotMorse Farm–MontpelierWindham CountyFranklin Geist – Saxtons RiverUVM Extension Office – Brattleboro (Open Monday Friday 8am – 4:30pm)Bascom Maple Farms Alstead, NHWindsor County:Gateway Motors, White River JctMary Croft, East BarnardGreen Mountain Sugar House, Ludlow
Football season is over and basketball is less than a month away from post-season play. Now it is time to focus on America’s pastime: baseball. The 2012 USC baseball season is around the corner. The Trojans are preparing to take the field at Dedeaux on Feb. 17 and have their eyes fixed on Omaha, Neb. — a goal most believe to be nearly impossible for the USC baseball program.Rise of Troy · With the help of returners like redshirt senior Andrew Triggs, USC’s recruits will push the baseball program to new heights. – Carlos Acenas | Daily TrojanLed by coach Frank Cruz, the Trojans are primed to make a run for the Pac-12 title and, most importantly, improve upon last season’s lackluster record.In the offseason, USC has made significant moves to regain the respect it deserves. Not only did USC’s athletic director Pat Haden hire Cruz full-time in May 2011 after Cruz served as interim head coach for nearly two seasons, but the Trojans have also signed an impressive 2012 class.USC boasts a remarkable class of 2012 enrollees. In fact, it is the highest rated signing class for the Trojans in the past decade. The 19-man class consists of seven pitchers and 12 position players. Of the signees, several were drafted in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.The 2012 class is a great addition to the already outstanding USC roster. Though losing key players, like infielder Ricky Oropesa (drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2011), the 2012 USC roster will have the perfect mixture of veteran talent and young blood.Of the enrollees, USC signed left-handed pitcher Stephen Tarpley, outfielder and first baseman Ryan Garvey, right-handed pitcher Wyatt Strahan, third baseman Trent Boras and infielder Dante Flores. The Trojans also signed two-time draftee and senior transfer right-handed pitcher Martin Viramontes on the 2012 enrollee roster.The 2012 class joins returning starter, right-handed pitcher Andrew Triggs, who was 5-4 in 2011 with a 3.67 ERA. Triggs allowed opponents 94 hits last season. Outfielder Garrett Houts is back for the 2012 season. Houts hit .324 during Pac-10 Conference play in 2011. Both Triggs and Houts provide leadership qualities, something that is vital to lead the Trojans to a conference title and, ultimately, the College World Series in Omaha.USC has not won a national championship in more than a decade — the last win occurred in 1998 under coach Mike Gillespie. It might seem hard to believe, but USC has all the pieces it needs to vie for a championship. Young talent, veteran leadership and solid coaching are all intact for the Trojans.With that said, it is not far-fetched to fantasize about the rise of the USC baseball program. Though other advertisements for athletic teams contain the obligatory message about the revival of a program, the USC baseball team without a doubt deserves just as much respect and publicity as the other athletic teams on campus.The resurgence of USC baseball is imminent and this prophecy could very well come true in 2012. Break out the sunscreen and baseball caps, ladies and gentlemen, Baseball season is here. “Armchair Quarterback” runs Tuesdays. To comment on this article, please visit dailytrojan.com or email Andie at email@example.com.
Listen to “The Midday Report” from Tuesday February 18th