Upcoming Maple Events

There is a flurry of upcoming maple programming and events to consider.

Of course, the International Maple Conference just concluded up in Lacrosse, Wisconsin held over the latter part of last week and weekend.

Next weekend, the Ohio Maple Producers Association are convening for a great line-up of food, fellowship, tours, and syrup contests.  Dates are Nov 4-5 and additional details can be found here.

Just a few days after, Seldom Seen Farm will host a Woodland Wednesday program from 4:00-7:00 PM on November 9th.  In collaboration with Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District, Geauga County Farm Bureau, NRCS, and host Seldom Seen Farm, speakers will discuss the relationship between modern forestry and the maple industry.  Specific topics will include thinning, tree crown development, soil conditions, and maple tubing in the sugarbush.  All are welcome to this free outdoor event that will benefit the landowner and woodsman alike.  Please RSVP to Kevin Holy at 440-596-9717 or via email (kevin@seldomseenmaple.com).

Lake Erie Maple Expo, the following weekend of November 11 and 12, will host its usual showcase of vendors, talks, and all and everything else maple.

Completing the first half of November flurry, Penn State Extension Educator Brian Walsh will discuss what is known about the spotted lanternfly and observations about maple trees that provide insight as to the impact the insect could have on the industry.  Pennsylvania has endured a longer stint of spotted lanternfly infestation than Ohio, and we can learn more about what to potentially expect by seeing what has been learned by our neighbors to the east.  Register for the November 16 – 10:00 AM webinar here.

2020 International “Fall Into Maple” Tour Planning is Afoot

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 fred@richardsmapleproducts.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.