The 2021 International Fall into Maple Tour is scheduled for October 8-17. On Saturday, October 9th, you have a great chance to visit with members of the Ohio State Maple team at Ohio State Mansfield between 10 AM-6 PM. Visitors will be able to tour the research sugarbush, purchase OSU maple syrup, and see some new maple educational materials that we are excited to debut. From 10 AM-noon, we will be serving a pancake breakfast to tailgate for the Ohio State versus Maryland football game that starts at noon. Look for the event tent in the Ohio State Mansfield parking lot #8 and come see us.
Due to the closures of the spring maple tour, state associations have pulled together something unique amidst the COVID-19 restrictions – the International “Fall into Maple” Tour. If the tour goes as well as planned, the event could easily become an annual recurrence. 2020’s “Fall into Maple” Tour is a 10-day window that individual producers will decide which dates from October 9-18 they plan to be open. I would recommend being open at least both weekends.
While not all state and Canadian province associations have decided how they will fund, advertise, and participate, Ohio is fully prepared to engage the tour and make it a knock-out success. Where else in agriculture can you get farmers to join together not only across state lines but also internationally to launch a cooperative event!? Luckily, the maple community is a tight knit “family” of sorts, and we are indeed unique in supporting one another and progressing together.
Covering some more specifics – for whatever days you participate, all current social distancing rules will apply. Depending on your location and what you are offering, producers should expect to see 10-75 visitors per day, some much more. Think proactively about how you will disperse visitors within your property. Again, I would recommend any participating producers be open both weekends at a minimum. And the more you have to offer – even if it is not maple syrup or value-added products – the more visitor traffic you will draw to your operation.
Advertising and mailings will be going out soon for the “Fall into Maple” tour. There is no grant or donated money available at this time for Ohio producers, so we will be requiring a modest fee to be included in event outreach and communications. Fees are:
- $10 – If you were on the spring tour
- $30 – Ohio Maple Producers Association (OMPA) member and were not on the spring tour.
- $75 – Not an OMPA member? This covers the tour and next year’s OMPA.
Fees will cover many printed brochures for distribution throughout our communities and advertising for your location through various channels (social media, radio, Internet, OMPA website). Mapping details will be included.
If you are interested in participating in the 2020 International “Fall into Maple” Tour, please contact me (Fred) at 330-206-1606 or Jen at 440-487-1660. By email, send your message to email@example.com.
Author: Fred Ahrens, Richards Maple Products, Inc. Fred is also Ohio’s representative to the International Maple Syrup Institute and has made big contributions to the Ohio State Maple project.
If you scroll to the bottom of the Research page for the Ohio Maple Blog, you can link to the 2-part webinar series our ACER team produced in June – Accessing New Markets in This Time of Uncertainty. The “Fall Into Maple” Tour is an excellent example of thinking outside the box and being creative to carve out new marketing and sales opportunities for producers.