January 13, 2013

New group offers maple education

The recently established Franklin County Maple (Producers) Association (FCMA), in cooperation with Brushton-Moira Central School (BMCS) Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Cornell Cooperative Extension, is kicking off its First Annual Maple School.

Whether you are a seasoned maple-syrup producer, a less-experienced sugar maker or an individual interested in learning the ins and outs of making maple syrup at home, this all-day event, which will be held at BMCS on the Gale Road in Brushton on Feb. 2, will offer informational and hands-on classes and workshops that will most certainly be of interest to you.

The school is an opportunity for anyone involved in maple sugaring to learn about cutting-edge sugarbush management and maple-syrup production technologies, state-of-the-art sugaring and sugar production-related equipment, machinery and tools and how to use them, and methods for collecting sap and making high-quality syrup and value-added maple products.

It’s also a chance for greenhorns and rookies to expand their understanding of large production and small-farm sugaring operations and how these family-run businesses produce hundreds of gallons of quality maple syrup of exceptional flavor every year.

A wide-ranging variety of informational and educational classes are being featured. Among them are Maple Tubing for Beginners; Sugarbush Thinning for Improved Growth and Productivity; Ensuring Sugarbush Regeneration; Filtering and Canning; Making Maple Cream and Candies; Making Maple-Coated Popcorn, Suckers, Smoothies and Slushies; Economics of Buying and Selling Maple; 20C & Home Licenses Needed for Maple and Marketing; Ag District Property Tax Assessments; and Stainless Steel Welding.

Presenters include specialists from Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation District professionals, maple producers and industry consultants.

This is a truly diverse group of folks. All of them bring their insights, knowledge, experience and expertise to the event. And all will be available to answer questions and address concerns.

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