2 locations announced for 2018 Vt. Maple Conference

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BURLINGTON — Vermont's maple producers will have an opportunity to hear the latest from industry and university maple experts on maple production, marketing and business management, sugarbush health and climate and maple regulations at the 2018 Vermont Maple Conference, planned for two locations.

The annual conference, a collaboration of University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, will be held Jan. 20 at the School for International Training Graduate Institute at 1 Kipling Road in Brattleboro, and Jan. 27 at Lamoille Union Middle School, at 736 VT Rte. 15 in Hyde Park. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the program getting under way promptly at 8:15 a.m.

The event is open to producers with any size operation as well as those interested in becoming a sugarmaker. Registration is $10 for VMSMA members, $40 for non-members and $5 for students. Lunch costs an extra $15.

To register go to www.vermontmaple.org/maple-conferences. Contact Amanda Voyer at (802) 858-9444 by Jan. 2 if requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate.

The opening session includes brief presentations on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in Worcester, Massachusetts, and how the Food Safety Modernization Act will affect sugarmakers. David Hall, a director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Producers, will provide a brief market summary. All three speakers will present full workshop sessions on their topic later in the day.

Producers may choose from 23 different concurrent workshops throughout the day-long conference. Several sessions will feature the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center's research, including reverse osmosis and syrup flavor and quality, sustainable tapping guidelines and biological and environmental control of sap flow and sugar. Panel discussions will explore the benefits and liabilities of opening sugarhouse to the public and the state of the maple market and the industry.

A number of workshops will focus on the business side of maple from understanding the cost of production to digital marketing. Other topics include Vermont wetland rules and maple operations; sugarbush management; a forest tent caterpillar update; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets' best management practices for maple operations; and sugar maple risk mapping; among other topics.

Program details can be found in the December 2017 "Maple Mainline" at http://go.uvm.edu/extension-maple.

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