November 9 & 10, 2018 marks the Seventh Anniversary of the Lake Erie Maple Expo. Reflecting back on the last seven years you realize that this show is about more than seminars and shiny maple equipment. It is about people, dedicated people who plan the show every year, maple experts that deliver informative seminars and maple equipment dealers that put on the trade show. It is also about producers that have supported this show from the start. Since its beginning in 2012, the LEME has become one of the most talked about maple tradeshows in the country. One of the keys to the show’s success is the ability to build a program that caters to the needs of the producer. The 2018 edition will be no different. This year’s program will include topics like High Brix Processing and 3/16 tubing but the planning committee realizes that most producers do not start at that level. As in past there will be seminars and workshops for all levels of interest. It all begins with the Workshops, on Friday morning.
The traditionally popular Vacuum Tubing Installation Workshop has taken on a new twist. The LEME is bringing back professional vacuum tubing installer, and Ohio Producer Jason Grossman. Jason and his brother Chris will take an in-depth look at Installing Tubing on Flat Ground. The LEME would not be possible without the help of the Albion FFA members and this year their maple program has a new home. The new sugarhouse is located just outside the High School. This is the perfect setting for a workshop on Sugarhouse Management with maple expert Glenn Goodrich. For the first time, workshop attendees will have an opportunity to cross the state line. The tour destination will be Jefferson, Ohio, home of the Bissell Maple Farm production facility. Attendees will tour the maple syrup production plant. This maple operation has gained notoriety for its Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. They the recently upgraded their bottling area, which now includes a modern bottling line. After lunch, owner Nate Bissell will share with everyone the history of the operation and the keys to successfully marketing maple syrup and maple value added products.
Rounding out the Workshop agenda will be Maple Confections with Ohio Producer and maple products judge James Miller. For the beginner Laura Dengler and Mark Lewis will explore the basics of maple production. This seminar is being held at Triple Creek Maple Products, just north of Albion. All of the workshops will start at 9:00 am and conclude at 2:00 pm. The Workshop Registration fee is $30.00 including lunch. This is separate fee from the Friday Evening/Saturday Registration. The Workshop registration area will be in the New Albion FFA Sugarhouse on the SE corner of the high school.
The Tradeshow will open Friday evening at 5:00 pm. This year’s show promises to be the biggest ever. On Friday evening, the featured speaker will be Mark Canella, Agricultural Business Program Director for the University of Vermont Extension. Mark’s topic are Maple Economics and Industry Trends. The presentation will include trends for industry growth and discussion on issues that are currently affecting the maple industry. Audience participation is encouraged in the discussion.
The Saturday program is loaded with topics that are sure to be of interest to everyone. Over 30 concurrent sessions will take place throughout the day. Seminars will start at 9:00 am on Saturday morning. This year we have an all-star cast of speakers including Dr. Tim Perkins from the UVM Proctor Research Center, from the Cornell Maple Program Stephen Childs New York State Maple Specialist and Aaron Wrightman, Extension Maple Specialist. Maple Producer experts include Glenn Goodrich, Goodrich Maple and a host of local and out of state speakers on a variety of topics. There will also be presentations from all of the major maple equipment manufactures highlighting some of the newest technology in the industry. There will also be maple production/marketing seminars and maple products demos for the beginner and small producer.
All of the programs except the Ohio bus tour workshop will take place in Albion, Pennsylvania at the Northwestern High School. Registration is $40.00 for both the Saturday and Friday Evening programs. Mark your calendars for November 9, & 10 2018 and join the fun at this year’s LEME. Pre-registration deadline is October 15, 2018. Pre-registration deadline is October 15, 2018. Registration information is available on line at http://www.pamaple.org.