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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Tips for Sweet Success: Topics Set for Ohio Maple Days

January 6, 2011

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Ohio State University has announced the speakers and topics for its upcoming Ohio Maple Days, set for Jan. 20 in Fulton, Jan. 21 in Fredericksburg and Jan. 22 in Burton.

-- “Auto Draw-Off Units from A-Z” by Bob Crooks, owner of Marcland Instruments USA, Schroon Lake, N.Y., at 9 a.m. Marcland makes state-of-the-art equipment for maple syrup production.

“Auto draw-off units have been around for a number of years and continue to gain in popularity,” said Gary Graham, the program’s organizer, one of the speakers and a natural resources specialist with Ohio State University Extension. “An auto draw-off is like having an extra set of hands at the most critical aspect of getting the syrup off at the proper density.”

-- “First Detector Training for Maple Syrup Producers” by Bridget Meiring of Ohio State University’s C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic at 10:30 a.m. The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) created the First Detector program to promote awareness and early detection of high-risk, exotic and emerging plant pests through enhanced diagnostics and education.

The session will certify participants as first detectors for the NPDN and the state of Ohio and will give updates on possible new maple pests.

-- “Using the Time-Saving Technology Equipment Available to Producers” by Crooks at 1 p.m. Satellite monitoring of sap flows, especially helpful in determining when to collect in a remote part of a sugarbush, will be featured among that technology.

-- “Can Customers Find You?” by Graham at 2:30 p.m., covering a range of topics from labels on products to signs at farms, all aimed at informing customers and generating sales.

-- “Maple Nuggets: A Time to Share Ideas, Information and Questions” led by Graham at 3:30 p.m., featuring a yearly report on the maple industry in Ohio, the U.S. and the world plus other industry news.

A trade show will be open throughout the program. Testing of hydrometers and of Vermont Temporary Maple Syrup Grading Kits will be available.

The speakers, topics and hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) will be the same at all three locations:

-- Jan. 20 in Fulton (Morrow County) at the Lutheran Memorial Camp, 2790 State Route 61;

-- Jan. 21 in Fredericksburg (Wayne County) at the Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, 10664 Fryburg Rd.; and

-- Jan. 22 in Burton (Geauga County) at Joe J.S. Miller’s Window Shop, 15020 Shedd Rd.

Registration costs $30 per person, includes lunch and is due by Jan. 11. Pre-registration is required for meals.

To register, send your name, address and registration fee (checks payable to OSU Extension) to OSU Extension, ATTN: Lisa, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Please indicate which location you wish to attend.

For more information, call 330-263-3799, e-mail or download the program flier at

Ohio’s maple syrup production brings in around $5 million every year to the state’s economy and ranks fifth nationally. Ohio’s maple syrup season goes from early February through mid-March, depending on the weather.

Sponsoring Ohio Maple Days are the Ohio Maple Program, OSU Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. All are part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Also at the Burton site will be a trade show the night before the workshop. It’s from 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 21. Admission is $3 per person at the door.

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Kurt Knebusch
Gary Graham