Dig Into The Deep Roots Of Maple

The Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producer’s Association will host the 2024 Winter Institute and Maple Vendor Trade show on Jan. 5-6 at Hotel Marshfield in Marshfield. The 2024 theme is Digging into the Deep Roots of Maple.

The main speaker is Maple Specialist Mark Isselhardt who leads the University of Vermont Extension Program through a combination of original research and outreach related to the production of maple syrup. His focus is on issues that are relevant to all producers regardless of the size operation. He is involved in organizing educational meeting including the annual Vermont Maple Conference and the International Maple Grading School.

The two-day event will begin on Friday Jan. 5 with hydrometer testing, which will run through Saturday at noon. Bring your hydrometers to test to see if they are accurate.

Friday night will include a Maple 101 and 201 education presentation presented by Jim Adamski and Mark Isselhardt. Maple 101 will be a beginner’s class on making maple syrup. The Maple 201 class will go
beyond the beginner’s class. Attendees of Maple 201 class are encouraged to bring their own maple
syrup to be tasted by others. They will also be able to taste others maple syrup along with off-flavored
maple syrup.

The maple vendor trade show will start be Friday 4-8 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendor sign-up deadline is Dec. 30. Watch www.wismaple.org for the most up-to-date vendor list.

Friday night will also include a happy hour, which will include maple old-fashioneds and Wisconsin cheese, snack sticks, maple butter, maple cheesecake, and maple honey butter sponsored by Nasonville Dairy, Hewitt Meats, and Hansen’s Sugar Shack.

Saturday morning will begin with opening remarks by WMSPA president, Steve Anderson. The day also includes an update from UW-Extension project manager Tony Johnson, NASS Wisconsin State Statistician Greg Bussler, and Isselhardt. Technical sessions will cover opportunities for financial assitance, tubing technology, sap yields and tapping, ensuring quality, and value-added products.

During lunch on Saturday, awards will go to the WMSPA Producer of the Year and WMSPA Life Time Member.

The event is open to the public. Friday registration is free. Saturday registration is $50 for WMSPA members, $75 for non members, and $25 for Students K-12. Registrations are due Dec. 22: www.wismaple.org.