We’re tapped and the production system is flushed and tight with great vacuum. Many thanks to our students and technicians for getting the 2023 sap season underway!
Join the OSU Extension team on March 1st for the annual Woodland, Water, and Wildlife Conference. Kathy Smith and Gabe Karns will be presenting a seminar early in the agenda titled “Woodland Owners, Maple Syrup, and the New Maple Toolbox.” Book your whole day with us though as many other interesting topics will be covered including buckeye tree conservation, aquatic plants and wetlands, Ohio snakes, spotted lanternfly updates, urban coyotes, and more.
If you are a consulting forester, work with a natural resource agency, or are otherwise employed within the environmental and natural resource career field, please join us on March 15th for an in-service workshop customized for you! Learn how to assess a woodlands potential, what equipment will be needed, what options are available to a landowner interested in maple sugaring, and what else is needed to establish an operation as an income opportunity.
Mark Cannella, Farm Business Management Specialist for University of Vermont Extension, ventured down to the Buckeye State to kick off our Ohio Maple Days weekend on Friday, December 9th. Mark’s half-day seminar helped nearly 20 maple producers give serious consideration to their maple business plan. From modules on strategic planning to marketing to managing finances and calculating true profitability, group discussions and active work sessions engaged participants.
No matter the scale of a single maple operation, our commodity market is determined by a host of macro factors that are sometimes easy to observe but as often are difficult to suss out. At the level of the single operator, those macro factors mingle with local variables to produce a host of challenges and opportunities that vary year-to-year and even within a single season.
Participating operators asked hard questions that forced good conversations – conversations that sometimes ended in relatively clear answers, other questions that resulted in more…well, questions.
“How do I transition from a hobby to a business that can support my whole family?”
“Should I make that change truly believing it will be good for my family business in 2 generations future?”
“How can I better care for my trees?”
“How do I balance the need for equipment upgrades with the challenge of having enough labor to increase my number of taps?”
“How do I juggle maple and the rest of my responsibilities?”
These questions and more provided excellent fodder to stimulate 4+ hours of lively discussion. Thanks to Mark for bringing his business planning expertise to Ohio!
Additional online business planning tools can be found at www.maplemanager.org.
Registration is sneaking up for the Friday & Saturday festivities surrounding Ohio Maple Days.
In order of their occurrence, Mark Cannella is hosting a maple business workshop representing by University of Vermont on Friday, December 9th. Mark is offering this half day workshop with a focus on strategic planning, marketing and managing finances toward profitability. Participants are encouraged to bring any business records and information of their own to apply during the workshop. There are 4 SAF category 1 continuing education credits offered for the day. Space is limited and seats are running out – register now!
Friday evening, you do not want to miss out on the One Sweet Gathering fundraising banquet thrown by the Ohio Maple Producers Association. Register here!
And of course the main event on December 10th, Saturday for Ohio Maple Days. We will meet again at Ashland University’s John C. Meyer Convocation Center for a jam-packed program on all things maple. Updates on red maple research from both Ohio State’s Gabe Karns and the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center’s Abby van den Berg. Add to this other talks on reverse osmosis, marketing and insects impacting maple trees. A maple themed lunch and a vendor room that features a variety of maple equipment dealers, consulting foresters and other associated equipment help round out the day. There are also SAF continuing education credits available for the program. Registration here.
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 (email@example.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.
Please join us on December 9th and 10th for a great line-up of workshops, socials, and seminars at this year’s Ohio Maple Days. Registration is available at the Woodland Stewards website. Saturday has a packed agenda of research talks, seminars, vendor displays, and down time to enjoy meals engaging with fellow maple enthusiasts.
Preceding Saturday, Friday will feature a half-day business planning workshop with Dr. Mark Cannella (ad below) followed by a banquet and social with maple-themed entrees, drinks, and cocktails galore (buy tickets here!). Registration for each event is separate, so don’t miss out a great 2-day package of maple education and fun.
We hosted Maple Boot Camp at Ohio State Mansfield on June 22-24. Carri Jagger, Thomas deHaas, and Kathy Smith pulled this post together for the Buckeye Yard & Garden Online blog.
We cannot hold events of this quality without a lot of help and support. A big thanks to Carri and Kathy, Mike Lynch from CDL, Mike Hogan of OSU Extension, Sayeed Mehmood, Les Ober, Mike Rechlin, Kate Fotos, and Mike Lucero. I hope I am not forgetting anyone. And an especially huge thanks to the Brown family at Bonhomie Acres and Stan Hess for opening up their operations for tours and interfacing with Boot Camp attendees.
Here are a sprinkling of photos to supplement what you’ll see at the linked write-up above.
Maple Bootcamp: Ohio is for woodland owners looking for an annual income from their woodland or current producers looking to sharpen their skills. This multi-day workshop will cover everything from tree identification and tree health through tapping and marketing an end product (syrup, candy etc). There will be tours of a sugarbush that has been in operation for more than 50 years and one that takes advantage of today’s technology. We will also tour the sugarbush that was installed on the Ohio State University Mansfield campus in 2019 and is a hub for maple research. Join us June 22-24 for this exciting event.
Registration is $150 total for the 3-day camp. Sign up here and check out the agenda for more details.
We are thrilled to announce Maple Bootcamp: Ohio, hosted at The Ohio State University-Mansfield campus from June 22-24 this summer. Spots are limited and this opportunity will be shared across our tri-state collaborative (OH, WV, PA) and beyond. You can register here and check out the 2022 Maple Camp Brochure that contains a full agenda.
Don’t forget to register for the Ohio Maple Days meeting scheduled for December 11 in Ashland. We have a limited number of seats, so don’t delay too much in getting in those registrations.
We are also excited to host a syrup grading workshop on Friday, December 10th. Please consider making a couple days of it to participate in both the workshop and the main event on Saturday. Registration for the syrup grading workshop is on the Woodland Stewards website.
See you there!