CRANDON - Last year maple syrup farmers suffered from the quick spring so badly, many had to take out emergency loans. This year they're the only one's not complaining about the slow thaw while the sap flows like crazy.
Tonight in Northwoods Works, Newswatch 12's Lyndse Stemm takes us to Ginter's Corner Tap N' Sap, where you can taste five generations of family tradition.
When the Ginter's say their maple syrup business is a family affair, they mean it. It started with great grandpa Ginter.
"Grandpa used to make it in an old kettle," says Tim Ginter.
Five generations later, syrup practically runs through their veins.
"This is our hobby gone wrong. We started out making 40 gallons and now we have expanded to where we want to eventually make 1,000 gallons a year," says Joan Ginter.
This year they're already on track to beat their old record of 600 gallons. It's a far-cry from last year when maple syrup producers around the state suffered from the fast spring.
"You rely on the weather. If it gets too warm then the trees quit running. If it gets too cold the trees quit. Ideal temperature, 45 during the day, 25 at night," says Tim.
The Ginter's now have between 2,400 and 2,500 taps on the property. Just this year they finished putting in lines, to bring the sap to holding tanks.
"It's expensive to put line in. So we started with one side, and then we waited a few years and then we put the other side in," says Joan.
The Ginter's invest their profits right back into the business. All this machinery saves them so much time, they're able to produce seven times as much as Great-Grandpa Ginter was able to during syrup season.
"Basically what we want to do is we want to be able to retire, and this is all we do," says Joan.
An even bigger dream is for the business to continue for generations after them.
"Hopefully I'll be able to pass it down like my grandpa did," says Tim.
"Oh, I'm almost positive it will be. Even if it isn't my kids or grand kids I have nephews that just love doing this stuff. It'll always be in the family," says Joan.
It shouldn't be a hard to find a relative to take over. The Ginter's sell out every year and the syrup is only sold in three stores in Crandon; the rest by word of mouth... all 750 gallons. Although, their family is responsible for a few of those cases.
"Probably three or four a year. But we can because we have it. So basically it's running through our veins. Literally," says Joan.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
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