LEWIS CO., N.Y. — Recently the NYS Maple Tour was completed in the North Country by the Lewis County Maple Producers Association (consisting of Lewis, Jefferson, Oneida, Oswego and Upper Herkimer) with Maple Producers from Canada, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania touring Lewis and Jefferson County sugar houses seeing unique and different set ups for tubing, sugarbush management and sugar houses. Sunday evening workshops were done by NYS Maple Specialist, Stephen Childs on the different off flavors that can occur in Maple Syrup. Mr. Jeff Goulet from Lapierre Equipment, covered the benefits of using a ¼ in bit and spile vs. the traditional 5/16 in tap. Tour participants also had the opportunity to tour the American Maple Museum and a local cheese operation.
One of the highlights each year of the State Maple Tour is to announce the NYS Hubbell Award recipient and the Young Sugar Maple of the Year recipient. This year the tour was joined by several state and local legislators for their banquet and award presentations. The North Country has been very fortunate to receive strong support from its State Representatives concerning maple.
This year Dale Moser of Moser’s Maple, Croghan, NY was selected as the recipient of the NYS Hubbell Award by the state committee.
Dale is still active in Maple Sugaring where he works with his three sons, Don, Jake and Bryan. Moser’s Maple has been in continuous operation since 1970. Dale’s long time commitment to public service started back in the 70’s, when he was involved in the construction and layout of the American Maple Museum. He has worked on the Capital Improvements Committee within the Museum most notably playing a key role with the installation of the handicap elevator. Dale has held and continues to hold director positions on several maple or agriculture boards.
Dale has enjoyed his opportunities to educate the public about maple on TV from Syracuse to Watertown along with radio. He has been a regular presenter at the Lewis County Conservation Field Days for the last seven years educating approximately 120 sixth graders about maple syrup and how it is produced.
Dale along with his sons, has always been willing to open up his sugarhouse for overseas visitors to help educate them about the process of maple syrup production and have them try some of their maple delicacies. He has had a Lt. Governor, several Commissioners of Ag, state and federal legislators and Deans of Colleges tour his operation. He has always enjoys having school groups and the FFA youth visit.
When he is not at his sugarhouse talking about the maple industry, Dale has been willing to come to Albany and talk about Maple, its needs, what’s happening in the industry and provide information on maple sugaring to the public. Dale is truly a person who lives and breathes Maple and supports the entire industry from the beginner producer to the consumer.
The Young Sugar Maker of the Year recipient was Tim Kurtz of Adams, NY. Tim began is operation in Ellisburg with just 1300 taps and currently has expanded his operation through buying land and leases to just over 20,000 taps between Jefferson and Lewis County. He utilizes Reserves Osmosis and a 3 x 12 oil fired evaporator with a piggy back to utilize the steam from the syrup making process to make it as efficient processing method as possible. He also has plans for another 5000 taps in one of his woods in Lewis County. He plans on building a bigger sugar house to handle his increase volume of syrup. He also has a Maple Tubing install business which enables him to diversify throughout the year, and truly makes his operation a full time year around business. Currently the majority of his Maple Syrup is sold in the bulk maple market. As you can see the future is an open book for this young, ambitious sugar maker.
Next year’s maple tour is in July 2018 and itinerary/registration is available on www.upperhudsonmaple.com. For more information on New York State Maple visit www.nysmaple.com.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension
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