A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

University of Kentucky, partners to host maple syrup production workshop Oct. 16 in Boone County

By Jordan Strickler
University of Kentucky

In 1930, a sugar shortage hit Kentucky, compelling residents to tap into their resourcefulness and try their hand making maple syrup. Over the years, this craft gradually faded into obscurity.

Workshop participants will receive both classroom and hands-on maple syrup production experience. (Photo by Steve Patton)

But in recent years, Kentucky’s maple syrup production has made a remarkable resurgence. On Oct. 16 at the Boone County Environmental and Nature Center, the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will join forces with the Kentucky Maple Syrup Association, the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, The Ohio State University and the Ohio Maple Producers Association to host a workshop to expand the public’s maple syrup knowledge.

The primary objective is to cultivate and expand knowledge of the maple syrup industry and equip attendees with the necessary skills to embark on their own syrup-making ventures.

“This hands-on maple syrup production workshop will walk participants through the entire process—from selecting and tapping trees to value-added options and retail considerations,” said Billy Thomas, extension forester with the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Tapping into the tree. (UK photo)

During the workshop, participants may immerse themselves in the world of the state’s maple syrup industry and gain insights into national trends related to maple syrup demand.

The day promises to be a hands-on experience guiding attendees through the intricate maple syrup production process. Participants will learn about tapping techniques and various methods of sap collection as well as engage in discussions on maple syrup production.

Participants will learn about value-added options and retail variables during the workshop’s concluding dinner.

“The maple syrup industry in Kentucky is experiencing remarkable growth,” Thomas said. “We believe this program will play a pivotal role in supporting not only individual maple syrup producers but also the industry as a whole.”

To register for the workshop, visit ky-maplesyrup.ca.uky.edu. The cost is $10, including dinner.

Partial funding for the project was made possible through a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service grant.

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