Sweet science: Ohio Maple Days helps producers prepare for the coming maple syrup season, which in Ohio runs from early January through mid-March, depending on the weather.
WOOSTER, Ohio — This year’s Ohio Maple Days are set for Jan. 18 in Morrow County, Jan. 19 for Wayne and Holmes Counties, and Jan. 20 in Geauga County (new location).
The programs, which are the same at each location, offer educational sessions on maple production. They are timed to help producers get ready for the coming season. Both hobby and commercial producers are welcome.
• Jan. 18, Morrow County, 8 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the Lutheran Memorial Camp, 2790 State Route 61, Fulton, OH 43321.
• Jan. 19, Wayne and Holmes Counties, 8 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, 10664 Fryburg Road, Fredericksburg, OH 44627.
• Jan. 20, Geauga County, 8 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at Huntsburg Community Center, 12396 Madison Rd, Middlefield, OH 44062 NOTE: this is a new location from past years
Featured topics include:
- Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Ohio Department of Ag Updates: The Food Safety Modernization Act contains a mandatory requirement for many food manufactures, which includes maple syrup producers, to register their operation. There have been many changes in the past few years and there are even more changes to take place in the next year or two. Every maple producer, no matter operation size, needs to hear what is happening, as their future as maple producers depends on it.
- Maple Marketing is More Than Filling a Jug: If you want to achieve the highest return for your maple syrup then just putting your syrup in a jug is not enough. Once in the jug you have to market it, by making the connection from the syrup within the jug to you the producer. Building the story of how it’s made and who is making it are all critical for consumers to become invested in you and your products.
- Tubing Help for Any Size Operation: Tubing has done more to revolutionize the maple industry and create growth more than any other piece of equipment. Tubing has made the collection process easier on the maple producer and on the sugarbush due to less time spent in the woods with heavy equipment. Tubing systems are easily adapted to any size maple operation. Looking back and forward to the newest technology, helpful hints will be presented to aid any size operation.
- Sugarbush/Woodland Management Tips that Pay: Your woodlands are a valuable resource. Learn how a professional forester can help you develop a woodland management plan to increase the benefits that you receive from your woodland. This session will focus on using crown touching release and other crop tree management concepts to improve the health and productivity of your sugarbush.
Featured speakers include:
• Mr. Tom McCrumm, owns a 5,000 tap operation and a 30 year sugaring season restaurant, and developer of diverse product marketing practices, Ashfield Mass.
• Mr. Dan Milo, Food Safety Supervisor, Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Food Safety. Dan a hobby maple producer himself has been working with the federal rulings under the Food Safety Act.
• Mr. David Apsley, a Natural Resource specialist with Ohio State University with over 30 years of forest management experience.
• Dr. Gary Graham, coordinator of Ohio State’s Ohio Maple Program, serves as the Ohio State University Extension Specialist for Ohio’s Maple Syrup Industry.
Also, there will be a trade show; reports from OSU Extension and the Ohio Maple Producers Association; Free testing of hydrometers, refractometers and Vermont Temporary Maple Syrup Grading Kits. (bring them to the program); and a session called “Maple Nuggets” for sharing questions, ideas and information.
Pre-registration is required to receive lunch. Pre-registration cost is $35 which includes lunch, refreshments and handouts, and is due before Jan. 12. Payment at the door is $40 and may not include lunch.
Send your name, contact information, which day’s program attending and check or money order (made payable to OSU Extension) to OSU Extension, Holmes County, 75 East Clinton Street, Suite 109, Millersburg, OH 44654.
For more information, go to https://holmes.osu.edu/ohiomapledays (with a link to the brochure and registration form) or call Ashley Gerber 330-674-3015.
FAES provides research and related educational programs to clients on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information: go.osu.edu/cfaesdiversity.