Ohio Maple Days will offer updates

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maple syrup collected from tree

WOOSTER, Ohio — Ohio Maple Days will be held Jan. 18 in Fulton in Morrow County, Jan. 19 in Fredericksburg for Wayne and Holmes counties, and Jan. 20 in Middlefield in Geauga County.

The annual program, the same in each location, will feature educational sessions on maple production. It’s timed to help producers prepare for the coming season, which in Ohio may run from January through mid-March, depending on the weather.

Both hobby and commercial producers are welcome. The event is sponsored by the Ohio Maple Program in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The locations will be:

  • Jan. 18 in Morrow County, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lutheran Memorial Camp, 2790 State Route 61, Fulton.
  • Jan. 19 in Wayne and Holmes counties, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, 10664 Fryburg Road, Fredericksburg.
  • Jan. 20 in Geauga County, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Huntsburg Community Center, 12396 Madison Road, Middlefield. (This is a new location from previous years.)

Topics covered

The topics will include the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Ohio Department of Agriculture Updates. The FSMA contains a mandatory requirement for many food manufacturers, including maple syrup producers, to register their operations, said Gary Graham, Ohio Maple Program coordinator and the event’s organizer.

“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,” Graham said. “Every maple producer, no matter the size of their operation, needs to hear what is happening, as their future as maple producers depends on it.”

Another session, called Maple Marketing Is More Than Filling a Jug, will help producers understand marketing and customer relations.

Sessions will also be held on tubing selection, and sugarbush/woodland management. Graham said tubing has done more to revolutionize the maple industry and create growth than any other piece of equipment. It’s also easily adapted to any size operation.

“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,” he said.

Featured speakers

The event’s featured speakers include Tom McCrumm, Ashfield, Massachusetts, who owns a 5,000-tap operation and 30-year sugaring season restaurant and is the developer of diverse product marketing practices.

Dan Milo, food safety supervisor, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Food Safety, who has been working with the federal rulings under the FSMA and also is a hobby maple producer.

And David Apsley, an Ohio State University Extension natural resources specialist who has more than 30 years of forest management experience. Graham, who is the OSU Extension specialist for Ohio’s maple syrup industry, also will speak on the program.

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 event), and a session called “Maple Nuggets” for sharing questions, ideas and information.

Get registered

Preregistration costs $35; includes lunch, refreshments and handouts; and is due by Jan. 12. Preregistration is required to receive lunch. Registration at the door is $40 and may not include lunch.

To preregister, send your name, contact information, the date you’ll be attending, and check or money order (made payable to OSU Extension) to OSU Extension, Holmes County, 75 E. Clinton St., Suite 109, Millersburg, OH 44654.

For more information, visit holmes.osu.edu/ohiomapledays, or call Ashley Gerber at 330-674-3015.

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