Jerry Jacobson and DMae Ceryes

A sample of maple syrup, produced in rural Vergas by Jerry Jacobson and DMae Ceryes (Jake’s Syrups & Natural Products LLC), was named First Place Winner in the Dark/Robust category at the recent combined convention of the North American Maple Syrup Council (NAMSC) and the International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI). This locally-made syrup beat out entries from 16 states and four Canadian provinces for the honor. 

Syrup entries were judged by a panel of experienced maple syrup judges, and scores for correct density, flavor, clarity and taste all were combined to give a total score of 100. This sample from Jake’s Syrups & Natural Products LLC scored a perfect 100.

The 2019 NAMSC/IMSI annual convention was hosted by the Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (MMSPA) and was held in Duluth October 21- 24 2019, with over 300 attendees from the entire “sugar maple belt” of North America, from Minnesota to Maine and states as far south as West Virginia, and included Canadian producers from Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Québec. The annual convention offers maple producers a chance to learn about new technologies and research-based methods/techniques, to see the latest and greatest equipment available, and of course to socialize and enter into friendly competitions. The annual convention is hosted by a different state or province each year. The last time Minnesota hosted was 2001. Next year it will be in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

The NAMSC is an international network of maple syrup producer associations representing states and provinces in the maple belt of North America. The IMSI is another maple organization that is generally interested in marketing issues. The Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers’ Association is an organization of anyone interested in maple production in Minnesota and is open to all. All three organizations function to bring together those who have an interest in maple syrup production, to share our common interests, experience and knowledge for the advancement of the maple syrup industry. For more information about the MMSPA go to the website:

In addition to producing maple syrup, Jake’s Syrups & Natural Product LLC produces a full line of natural, fruit-based syrups, jams and jellies. Their products are widely distributed in Becker and Otter Tail Counties through retail outlets, craft shows and on-site at their facility. For more information contact Jerry or DMae via email at