The Ohio State University Extension has been helping agricultural producers across Ohio since 1917. The mission of OSU Extension is to utilize researched based information to conduct educational activities for the agriculture community. The Ohio Maple Site is dedicated to providing research-based information for Ohio Maple Syrup Producers in the Production and marketing of maple products. This blog is maintained by Gabriel Karns. Gabe is located in Columbus with accountabilities to the School of Environment and Natural Resources and Ohio State University-Mansfield where the OSU research sugarbush is located.  Please send your questions or comments to karns.36@osu.edu – please type Ohio Maple Blog in the Subject Line to get a more prompt response.


Kathy Smith is Ohio State Extension’s Program Director for Forestry. She coordinates the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, OSU Extension’s program for educating Ohio’s private woodland owners. Kathy played a major role in installing the sugar bush for demonstration, education, and research purposes at Ohio State’s Mansfield campus. Kathy has a decade of prior experience as a practicing silviculturist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as a Resource Conservation and Development forester.

Les Ober is an Extension Education working in Agriculture and Natural Resources in Geauga County. His specialties are maple syrup production and agronomy. Within the maple world, Les focuses on maple syrup production and marketing outreach covering a broad range of topics on all aspects of maple production from syrup quality/grading to best practices in the sugarbush to the sugarhouse. You can read some of Les’s articles in The Maple News, The Ohio State Maple Site, and the Maple Digest.

Dr. Gabriel Karns has shared accountabilities with The Ohio State University-Mansfield and the School of Environment and Natural Resources. He has worked in varying roles as a Buckeye for over a decade now. He is trained as a wildlife ecologist, and his primary focus is exploring how activities within working landscapes can be economically viable while creating value-added opportunities for conservation. One of the Capstone courses he teaches initially conceived the concept of a sugar bush at the Mansfield campus, and he shares a primary role in the operation.

Carri Jagger is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator in Morrow County.  Carri worked in the Horticulture industry for 15 years before coming to Extension.  Her specialization areas are Horticulture, Fruit and Vegetable Production, Small Farm Management and Backyard/Hobby Maple production.

Jake Nicholson is the newest member of the team joining as an extension specialist in late 2023. He will be focusing on the promotion and education of Non-timber forest products in Ohio. Jake is an alum of The Ohio State University and Hocking College, both times specializing in Forestry. He has nearly a decade of outdoor education and program creation experience under his belt from his time working with the Boy Scouts of America and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Dr. Sayeed Mehmood is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the area of Natural Resource Economics. Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources is his home unit. Sayeed came to Ohio State in 2017. Prior to being a Buckeye, he spent almost 16 years at the University of Arkansas. Specifically, his recent research interests (among other topics) have included econometric models of private woodland owner behavior and sustainable natural resource-based economic development.

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