Lake Erie Maple Expo

8/20/2013

Planning for the 2013 edition of the Lake Erie Maple Expo in November is under way. LEME Chairman Daryl Sheets reports that some new speakers have been confirmed for 2013. They include Dr. Timothy Perkins from the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center, Steve Childs from Cornell University and Dr. Gary Graham from Ohio State University. The LEME will once again be held in Albion, Pa., on Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, at the Northwestern High School. Albion is about 15 miles south of Erie.

New this year will be three maple syrup production workshops from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. With the LEME being held in early November, this allows for an expansion of the programming format. It also allows for outside workshops that would not be possible in winter months. Planned this year are workshops on managing vacuum tubing systems, tubing system installation and a special workshop just for beginners. The vacuum seminar will be held at Gary and Shirley Bilek's Triple Creek Maple north of Albion. The program presenters will be Steve Childs and Les Ober from Ohio State University. The program will cover the use of vacuum in tubing systems from installation to operation. At the Albion High School, Karl Evans from May Hill Maple LLC and Glen Goodrich from Goodrich Maple will help guide producers through the process of installing a tubing system. Laura Dengler will conduct a workshop for backyard producers. This event will also be held at the Bileks'. The registration for the events will be separate and the attendance will be limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. More information on the workshops will be available soon. 

So what can producers expect when they arrive at the LEME? The LEME will kick off Friday evening with a four-hour trade show from 5 to 9. Rounding out the program on Friday evening will be a maple rap session where producers will have a chance to ask questions and get answers from a group of experts. On Saturday, the program will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a break for lunch, which is included in the registration fee. There will be breakout sessions covering a variety of topics. Presenting the topics will be speakers from the maple industry, University of Vermont, Penn State University, Cornell University and Ohio State University. There will also be producers from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio presenting and working behind the scenes to make the expo a success.

The facility at Northwestern High School has over 5,000 square feet available for the trade show, with additional rooms if needed. A 600-seat auditorium and multiple classrooms are available for speakers. Most are equipped with modern audiovisual equipment. The LEME Committee has enlisted the help of the Albion FFA Chapter to help put on the expo.

Information will be posted on the Northwest Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Association and Ohio Maple Producers Association websites (www.pamaple.org and www.ohiomaple.org) and the Ohio Maple Blog at www.ohiomaple.wordpress.com. There will be a complete list of speakers, topics and times released by September 1. The registration deadline is set for October 15, 2013, and preregistration is required.