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Maple confections workshop offered

October 8, 2008
By Richard Gast, Franklin County Cornell Cooperative Extension

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County will be offering a Maple Confections and Value Added Maple Products workshop in the Kitchen Conference Room at the Franklin County Courthouse in Malone. The workshop, which is offered as part of the

Quality Improvement and Market Expansion for New York Maple Value Added Products Project, is sponsored by the New York State Farm Viability Institute and the Cornell University Maple Program. It is a follow up to the Confections I Workshop held last October. However, having attended the

Maple Confections I workshop is not a requirement for attending this one.

The Maple Confections II workshop, which is designed to enhance

producer skills, will address and offer demonstrations on the making of several value-added maple confection products including:

=Inverted maple syrup in confections

Fact Box

If you go ...

What: Maple Confections and Value Added Maple Products workshop

Where: Franklin County Courthouse kitchen conference room, 355 West Main St., Malone.

When: Oct.16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration begins at 8:45

How much: $15 per person program fee, including a confections workbook

To register or for more information contact Denise LaVoie at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County by phone at 483-7403 or by e-mail at

=Maple suckers and hard candy

=Maple coated nuts

=Maple soft drinks

=Maple straws

=Maple smoothies

=Maple cotton candy

=Maple marshmallow

=Maple jelly

=Maple sugar packets

Each participant will need to bring one quart of syrup (any color or grade) to be used in the program. All materials, drinks, snacks, lunch and updates to the NY Maple Transforming any raw agricultural product through processing will add

value. And increasing the percentage of a crop sold as processed value added products will increase producer income (gross and net).

Value-added agriculture is defined, in part, as a process of increasing the economic value and consumer appeal of an agricultural commodity by using new or unusual methods to get more income from a crop; and/or using alternative production and/or marketing strategies. For maple syrup producers this means making maple cream or processing pure maple syrup into block or granulated sugar, maple candy or any of the wide variety of appealing products that we will be looking at in the course of this workshop.

According to NYS Maple Extension Specialist Steve Childs, converting maple syrup into confections can increase producer income four to five-fold over time. Peter Smallidge, the Director of Cornell's Arnot Research Forest, believes that producers can increase their incomes by 10 to 30 percent in just two to three years.

No doubt about it, the market is there. In fact, New Yorkers consistently consume significantly more value-added maple products than

are produced in the state. At the same time, a significant amount, as much as 40 percent of the New York maple syrup crop, leaves the state in bulk barrels. That's according to Dwayne Hill, vice-president of the New York state Maple Producers Association, who also notes that millions of urban and suburban New Yorkers do not have access to maple syrup produced in New York state because it is made and marketed mainly in New York's rural areas.

Hands-on workshops like this one being offered in Franklin County provide maple producers with an opportunity to learn how to make the

highest quality value-added pure maple products and test those products against an established standard of quality. The idea is to eventually form a maple producers' cooperative marketing group, which would sell value-added products to retailers and consumers in urban and suburban locations statewide, and elsewhere.

These value-added maple confections workshops are just one of several initiatives that have been launched by the Cornell Maple Program in recent years. The Cornell Maple Program and the Cornell Extension Maple Team are dedicated to improving the sustainable production of high-quality maple products and enhancing the maple industry with increased educational outreach and expanded research programming that addresses the needs of both producers and consumers. The success of a 2004 research program, which resulted in methods for making maple cream that has a creamier texture and that is shelf-stable for up to six months, is just one more example of Cornell's ongoing commitment to the New York maple syrup industry.

According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2008 maple syrup production for New York is estimated at 322,000 gallons, an increase of 44 percent over the 224,000 gallons produced in 2007. Medium syrup accounted for 46 percent of production.

Forty-two percent of the overall crop was light syrup. Twelve percent was dark. The average price was $33.50 per gallon equivalent for all sales. While the majority of state producers reported good weather and sap flow during the 2008 season, most North Country producers experienced a below average season, the result of prolonged cold weather followed by a sudden and rapid warm up.

U.S. maple syrup production totaled 1.64 million gallons in 2008, up 30 percent from the previous year.



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