The OMPA officers ( Aggie Sojkja Sperry, Dan Brown, Karl Evans, and Paul Snavely) and Dr. Gary Graham OSU Extension met with Deputy Director Jenelle Mead and Assistant Chief Terri Gerhardt of the Ohio Department of Agriculture to discuss grade law changes to conform to the new USDA maple grade standards. We also discussed input into rules concerning the production of maple products.
The good news is ODA is willing to make the rule change to implement the new grade standards as soon as they are adopted by the USDA. Grading of syrup will remain voluntary in Ohio under the new grade standards.
The great news is ODA has agreed to exempt maple cream as a maple product needing to be produced in an inspected facility. They agreed that maple cream is a form of maple syrup and is exempt under current rules. A letter has been sent to all county health departments and all farmers’ market coordinators informing them of this change. ODA has also agreed to exempt maple sugar under the cottage industry rules but it will take time to get this change implemented.
Gary Graham and Dan Brown will have a copy of the letter concerning maple cream and will forward the letter to any producer wanting a copy for their use.
Dan Brown; President Ohio Maple Producers Association