The 2nd Annual LEME is now history, and what an event it was. This show had something for everyone. Attendance figures were not available at this writing but this year’s edition matched or exceeded the 2012 Expo. Thanks to the Committee that worked for six months crossing all the T’s and dotting all the i’s. You cannot put a program of this magnitude together in a few weeks and effort that the members of the Northwest Pa Maple Producers Association and committee members from other states should be applauded. Thanks to the students of the Northwestern High School FFA chapter and to Anthony Honeycutt their advisor, for their hard work and dedication. The LEME Committee could not do it without them. Thanks to the speakers many of which taught for two days in both seminars and workshops. Finally, thanks to all of the dealers and vendors that brought in the equipment and product to make up one of the best maple trade shows around.
So what did you miss because you decided that this was just another maple seminar and you would catch up at one of the winter meetings? On Friday you missed attending one of three workshops that contained in depth and in many cases hands on demonstrations on tubing installation, vacuum and a complete beginner’s class. One producer remarked it was worth the 200 mile drive for the workshop alone. After the vacuum workshop producers had an opportunity to sit down with Steve Childs to answer specific questions on their vacuum system. Thirty five producers left with a better understanding on how to setup and operate a vacuum tubing system. If you missed Glen Goodrich and Karl Evan” presentation on tubing installation you missed a chance to gain knowledge from a combined 50 years plus of experience in tubing installation. The tips and tricks that producers learned will make life a whole lot easier when they go home to install their system. In the beginner workshop hobby producers learned everything from start to finish about how to start making syrup from two veterans, Laura Dengler and Mark Lewis. The workshop format proved to be a winner and will be repeated next year.
When the producers came back from the workshop they were greeted with a tradeshow that filled the Northwestern High School lobby and cafeteria. 32 dealers in all made for an outstanding display that anchored the Friday evening and Saturday show. Producers also had a chance to attend a roundtable discussion and ask questions of Dr Tim Perkins, Dr Gary Graham, Steve Child and Glen Goodrich, four the most prominent individuals involved in maple production today.
On Saturday the producers could choose from 30 seminars on just about any topic you could think of. Where else could you find this kind of knowledge in one place at one time? There was plenty of time between seminars to visit with dealers and talk maple with old and new friends.
If after reading this you find yourself wishing you had made the trip to Albion Pennsylvanian, be assured you will have a chance to redeem yourself in 2014. The dates are already set November 7th and 8th. The location will be the same and there will be some surprises I am sure. Look forward to seeing you all in 2014 and our heartfelt thanks to all of you who attended the 2013 Lake Erie Maple Expo.
Les Ober; LEME Committee Member