A Sweet Legacy For Vermont’s King of Maple

                               

Henry Marckres retires after 33 years with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

By Anson Tebbetts

January 1984.

The King of Pop had the number one song and the King of Maple was just beginning his career at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.

Henry Marckres began inspecting products like apples, potatoes and strawberries and let’s not forget eggs. To become a certified egg grader, the training meant candling 5,000 eggs per day for more than a month.

An “egg-stroidnary” career was underway.

His training led Henry to become the state’s Chief of Consumer Protection. From weights and measures, to gas pumps to grocery scanners, Henry made sure the public got what it paid for.

Henry made sure you got what you paid for when you purchased that jug of pure Vermont maple.

For more than three decades, Henry protected pure maple.

It meant tasting the sweet stuff, sampling thousands of products over the years.

Those “off flavors” can be found in Henry’s coveted Maple Library found in a freezer. When a sugarmaker wondered what went wrong they called Henry.

His taste buds have detected paint stripper, mouse poo and even battery acid. His commitment to protecting maple landed him in the hospital three times.

Henry recovered and has judged hundreds of maple contests and graded thousands of gallons, even sampling more than a half of gallon of syrup in one day.

Henry’s career also meant protecting Vermont maple from those passing it off as something else. His investigations led to criminal charges for those mislabeling or adulterating Vermont maple.

It’s been a colorful career full of stake-outs, fairs and festivals, stories and most of all the love of maple from this farm kid from Craftsbury. The awards are many, from both sides of the border.

A sweet legacy from Henry Marckres who’s love of maple has made a difference and will make a difference for future generations.