By: Gary Graham
The Ohio Maple Days program, an educational event for all maple syrup producers is offered on three dates in three locations: Jan. 23 in Fulton, Jan. 24 in Fredericksburg, and Jan. 25 in Middlefield. The program will be the same at all three locations. This year the workshops will feature speakers from Vermont the #1 maple producing state and New York the #3 maple producing state.
Featured speakers Abby van den Berg, a researcher at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, will discuss research findings on reverse osmosis of syrup flavor and quality. She will also cover the tips and tricks to efficiently obtaining higher yields of quality sap that lead to more quality syrup. van den Berg is a leader of research on maple production from red maples and will share her knowledge with Ohio producers. Ohio is rich in red maples in many parts of the state.
Also featured Steve Childs, New York maple specialist at Cornell University, will discuss the findings from research on tubing, tapping filtering and much more conducted at the Uihlein maple research forest. He will also conduct a participant favorite on maple value-added products. This program teaches maple producers how to add value to the products they sell.
Another featured speaker, Dan Milo, will explain new portions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, set to be implemented this year, that affect producers of maple syrup. Milo is a food safety supervisor with the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Food Safety and is a hobby syrup producer himself.
Graham will present a session called “Maple Nuggets” where he’ll share additional news and updates and answer producers’ questions along with the speakers from throughout the day in a speaker panel.
There will be a trade show at each location; reports by the Ohio Maple Producers Association and by Ohio State University Extension, which is the outreach arm of CFAES. Once again free testing of hydrometers, refractometers, and Vermont Temporary Maple Syrup Grading Kits that attendees are encouraged to bring with them to the workshops. A hydrometer that is off can cause moldy syrup or sugar crystals both of which can be avoided by checking if the hydrometer is still reading properly.
The Jan. 23 event will be at Lutheran Memorial Camp, 2790 State Route 61, in Fulton.
On Jan. 24, the program takes place at the Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, 10664 Fryburg Road, in Fredericksburg.
The Jan. 25 event is set for the Huntsburg Community Center, 12396 Madison Road, in Middlefield, which is a new location from previous years.
The hours for all three events are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Preregistration to attend at a single location is $40 and includes lunch. The deadline to preregister is Jan. 17. Registration after Jan. 17, including at the door, is $45 but doesn’t guarantee lunch.
For details and to register, visit go.osu.edu/Ch3n or call Ashley Gerber, 330-674-3015.