The upcoming Vermont Maple Conference will offer options for both online and in-person learning with 15 informative sessions led by maple industry experts and maple producers.

The conference kicks off Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. with the first of nine online sessions over a three-day period. Attendees also can register for a day of in-person sessions at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center on Dec. 11.

The live event will include a panel of industry experts moderated by University of Vermont Extension maple specialist Mark Isselhardt, hydrometer testing, a tour of the state metrology lab, a research update with Professor Dr. Abby van den Berg with the Proctor Maple Research Center, a trade show and lunch.

Six interactive, hour-long sessions also will be offered on Dec. 11 that will focus on areas such as maple business management, maple industry regulations, sugarbush health, marketing and media and maple production and innovation.

All sessions (online and in-person) will be recorded for future viewing. Topics include sap collection for small-scale maple production, food safety and maple quality in the retail marketplace; agritourism and welcoming visitors into the sugarhouse and sugarbush, the basics of sugarhouse certification and updates on sweet tree research with the Cornell maple program; and quality syrup production for small-scale maple operations, and a question-and-answer session.

University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association host the conference, which is co-sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Daily sessions will be of interest not only to sugar makers but also to foresters who work with maple producers and forest landowners looking to lease to a producer.

To register, go to vermontmaple.org/maple-conferences.

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