As fall approaches and maple producers are in the woods repairing tubing and installing new lines in anticipation of the 2015 maple season, thoughts turn to the Verona Maple Conference, January 9-10, 2015. As the earliest maple show of the new year, the conference focuses on maple producers throughout North America, from novice to the most seasoned.

The conference will again be hosted by the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (V.V.S.) and Future Farmers of America (FFA). It will feature the largest trade show of its kind in the U.S., with nearly 50 maple vendors, equipment manufacturers, supply dealers and maple product distributors. Last year’s trade show highlighted the latest in reverse osmosis systems, evaporators, vacuum pumps, tubing, and every supply available to maple producers. In recent years, developments in spout technology, including size, design and construction materials, has been the hottest topic affecting sap yields.

More than 35 workshops are scheduled in four time slots Saturday. Leading maple researchers, presenters, maple confectioners and experienced industry producers will share their knowledge and expertise in an open, interactive presentation format. Through demonstrations and discussions, participants will have the opportunity to learn from the best in the maple industry.

Conference registration opens at 4:30 p.m. Friday; the trade show begins at 5 p.m., with maple workshops at 5 and 7 p.m. A live maple equipment auction start at 6 p.m. Friday. Contact the V.V.S. FFA to place items in the auction or to receive a list of auction items prior to the auction. The doors open at 7:30 a.m., Saturday with workshops beginning at 9 a.m.

On-site registration is $20 for Friday and $40 for Saturday. For more details, contact Keith Schiebel at kschiebel@vvsschools.org or 315-829-2520, extension 7462.

As the 2015 maple season approaches, plan now to invest your time, increase your maple network, expand your ideas to market your products, and purchase your maple supplies and equipment while attending the 2015 Verona Maple Conference and experience the best the maple industry has to offer.

2015 Maple Conference Sessions

Friday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Program

What Are We Going to do With all This Maple Syrup, Marketing Opportunities That Come With Industry Expansion
Panel Moderated by Mike Farrell

Maple Beverages Show and Tell Moderated by Stephen Childs

Saturday Program

Session I Getting the Most out of Your Filter Press Marty Wendel

Session II Understanding and Taking Advantage of R.O. Technology Jeff Goulet

Session III Finding a Vacuum System Just Right for You Glenn Goodrich

Session IV Marketing and Selling Syrup Brad Gillian

Session I Getting it Right: Grading, Labels and other Ag and Markets Regulations Sharon Hall, Sherri Card

Session II Maple Production from Saplings Dr. Tim Perkins

Session III Approaches to Taphole/Tubing Sanitation: Cleaning versus Replacement? Dr. Tim Perkins

Session IV Vacuum Pumps Gerry Maryles

Session I Managing the Electric Evaporator Benoit Pepin

Session II Do You Know You Can Produce the Taste You Want for Your Maple Syrup? Joel Boutin

Session III Managing your Sugarhouse to Facilitate Your work Joel Boutin

Session IV Remote Sensor System: Benefits it Adds to a Sugar Bush Jason Gagne

Session I Making and Marketing Maple Popcorn and Ice Cream Dan Weed

Session II Everything About Maple Sugar Stephen Childs

Session III Maple Confections 101 Jake Moser

Session IV Making Maple Suckers Brianne Tulley

Session I Excellence in School Visits at your Sugar Bush – A Panel Discussion Katie Bigness

Session II The Art of Selling Jeff and Lori Jenness and family

Session III The Role of Trade Organizations in the Growing Maple Industry: Marketing, Networking, Advocacy and More
Panel: Winton Pitcoff, Helen Thomas and Matthew Gordon

Session IV Keeping Records & Taking Credit Cards Ben Carpenter

Session I The New Infinity Spile Victor Putnam

Session II Growing Mushrooms in the Sugar Bush JJ Schell

Session III Business Considerations for Expanding Your Maple Business JJ Schell

Session IV Using the Internet to Promote Your Maple Business JJ Schell

Session I Control of American Beech in the Sugar Bush Peter Smallidge

Session II Increasing Maple Sap Sweetness with Soil Nutrients Adam Wild

Session III Rooted Cuttings of Genetically Sweeter Trees Adam Wild

Session IV Sugar Bush Thinning, Tree Growth and Sap Sugar Peter Smallidge

Session I How to Make the Most of Your Maple Weekend Angela Swan

Session II Maple History Your Customer May Find Interesting North American Maple Museum

Session III Telling Your Maple Story Tracy Thomas

Session IV Adding Value to Your Maple Syrup Michele Ledoux

Session I Tips for Beginners Eric Randall

Session II Maple Plant Anatomy (How does that maple tree work?) Eric Randall

Session III Cornell Maple Program Update: Taphole Sanitation and RO for the Small Producer Stephen Childs

Session IV 3/16-Inch Tubing Research Update Stephen Childs

Session I How To Make Money at Sugaring Mike Farrell

Session II Economics of Buying and Selling Sap Mike Farrell

Session III Tapping Birch & Walnut Trees for Syrup Production Mike Farrell

Session IV Opportunities in the Maple Beverage Market Mike Farrell

Session II Maple Tubing for the Beginner Demonstration Dave Bruinix and Steve Bedard

Session III Welding Stainless Steel TBA

Session III Basic Sap House Setups and Considerations for the Beginner
Tour and discussion of V.V.S. Sugarhouse