August 18, 2009
Contact: Michael Farrell, Uihlein Maple Forest, 518-523-9337, cell:
Northern NY to Host New York State Maple Tour September 27-29,
Lake Placid, NY -- Where better to learn about the latest progressive
and unique maple sugaring techniques than in the heart of New York’s
Adirondack Mountains? The Adirondack Maple Producers Association is
hosting the September 27-29 New York State Maple Tour with speakers and
sugarhouse tours starting from the Lake Placid Horseshow Grounds.
“We are encouraging experienced producers and those considering getting
into the maple business to attend any or all of this three-day event,”
says Northern New York Maple Specialist and Cornell University Uihlein
Maple Forest Director Michael Farrell.
Farrell has conducted a comprehensive survey of the maple industry in
Northern New York. His research shows the potential for the region to
grow its maple production resources into a $9 million annual industry.
According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, Northern NY has 347 maple
farms: 55 producers in Clinton County, 22 in Essex County, 36 in
Franklin County, 26 in Jefferson County, 112 in Lewis County, and 96 in
St. Lawrence County.
Program Includes Vermont, NY, Cornell Maple Experts & NNY
Landowners interested in learning more about maple syrup production are
encouraged to attend the Sunday 4-6pm reception to meet maple producers
and talk with equipment dealers at the trade show. There is a $10 fee
that includes complimentary hors’ doeuvres.
Dr. Timothy Perkins, director of the Proctor Maple Research Center at
the University of Vermont, Underhill, Vermont, will open the program at
the Sunday, September 27th evening reception discussing the latest
research on check-valve adapters.
At the Monday, September 28th evening awards banquet, New York State
Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker and
his staff will offer a report on the work of the new state Maple Task
Force. The Maple Task Force was formed in March 2009 to identify the
programmatic and regulatory measures needed to enhance the vitality of
New York’s maple industry.
The Monday evening banquet will also feature Clark Wolf, a leader in the
food and hospitality industry. He will speak about the importance of
building the local food economy and the role maple syrup producers can
play in developing sustainable and thriving communities.
On Monday, September 28th, the New York State Maple Tour will visit
sugarhouses in the Lake Placid area including:
• North Country School, a co-ed boarding and day school for grade 4-9
children – the school operates a wood-fired evaporator to boil 400
buckets’ worth of sap collected by students. The school also leases
several thousand taps to Tony Corwin, whose South Meadow Farm Maple
Sugarworks is located across the road from the school. The school is
currently thinning a newly-acquired forest for Corwin to tap.
• Uihlein Maple Forest is a 200-plus acre Sugar Maple Research and
Extension Field Station of Cornell University. Farrell will lead a tour
of the 5,000-tap sugarbush, a sweet tree plantation, and newly-built
education center and community garden. New York State Extension Forester
and Cornell Maple Program Director Peter Smallidge will demonstrate
proper tree felling and chainsaw safety techniques and a method for
controlling beech understory sapling encroachment.
• At Heaven Hill Farm, Henry Uihlein’s old sugarhouse has been renovated
as a site for teaching local students about syrup production. Tour
participants will learn about two research projects supported by the
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program and Cornel University
here – the timing of tapping for optimal sap flow and the effects of
different thinning treatments on sugar maple tree growth and sap
The Tuesday, September 29th sugarhouse tour will travel one hour
northeast to the Chazy, NY, area to visit:
• Parker Family Maple Farm, a sugaring and dairy farm established in
1889 by Earl Parker’s grandparents. The modern wood sugarhouse has an
attached candy kitchen, bottling room and restroom facilities. The
Parkers tap between 18,000 and 20,000 trees, some rented from the
neighboring WH Miner Agricultural Research Institute. William H. Miner
Agricultural Research Institute operates a demonstration dairy and
equine farm and offers educational programs in dairy and equine
management and environmental science. The Parker family has practiced
sugarbush thinning for more than 40 years and is a collaborator on the
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program/Cornell University
sugarbush thinning research project.
• Homestead Maple is a smaller sugarbush operation established as a
hobby business in 1994. Owner David Swan has 225 taps and 25 display
buckets and is upgrading toward making maple sugaring a full-time
retirement venture. Swan sells most of his syrup from the sugarhouse,
but also uses independent representatives in Missouri and Maryland for
Tour options include discounted tickets for a bird’s eye view of the
Adirondack Mountains from the top of the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumps
For New York State Maple Tour information and registration, contact the
Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, 49 Parkside Drive, Lake
Placid, NY 12946, 518-523-2445 x109. Registration deadline is September
11, 2009. Registration form and details are on the New York State Maple
Producers Association website at
For details on Northern NY maple industry research in regional
sugarbushes in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St.
Lawrence counties, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension
office and go online to the Northern New York Agricultural Development
Program website at www.nnyagdev.org. Maple production and research
information is on the Cornell Maple Program website at
• Cornell Maple Program:
• New York State Maple Producers Association:
• Northern New York Agricultural Development Program: