Ohio Maple Days set for January

By Gary Graham, Maple Syrup Specialist, OSU Extension

Ohio had a great maple season in 2019, with lots of good-quality syrup. Now is the time to get prepared for the 2020 season at CFAES’ Ohio Maple Days workshops.

Speakers from Vermont, New York, Ohio

The Ohio Maple Days program, an educational event for all maple syrup producers, is offered on three dates in three locations: Jan. 23, 2020, in Fulton; Jan. 24, 2020, in Fredericksburg; and Jan. 25, 2020 in Middlefield. The program will be the same at all three locations. This year, the workshops will feature expert speakers from Vermont, the No. 1 maple-producing state, and New York, the No. 3 maple-producing state.

Featured speaker Abby van den Berg, 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 tips and tricks for efficiently obtaining higher yields of quality sap, and with it, 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.

Value-added maple products

Also featured will be Steve Childs, New York maple specialist at Cornell University, who will discuss the findings from research on tubing, tapping, filtering, and more conducted at Cornell’s Uihlein maple research forest. Childs will also give a session on value-added maple products, a popular session in previous years. The session will teach maple producers how to add value to the products they sell.

Food safety act and syrup

Another featured speaker, Dan Milo, will explain new portions of the Food Safety Modernization Act that affect producers of maple syrup. Milo is 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,” which will share additional news and updates and answer producers’ questions. Also during the session, the days’ speakers will participate in a panel discussion.

Trade show and more

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; and 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 which can be avoided by checking if the hydrometer is still reading properly.

3 locations in Ohio

  • 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, 2020. Registration after Jan. 17, including at the door, is $45 but doesn’t guarantee lunch.

For details and to register, visit holmes.osu.edu/maple or call Ashley Gerber, 330-674-3015.

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