Contact: Kathy Hopkins at 474-9622
SKOWHEGAN — The sixth annual Maple Grading School is scheduled for Thursday Dec. 3 and Friday Dec. 4 at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Somerset County office, 7 County Drive in Skowhegan.
Maine will host this event for the first time. It brings together maple producers, bulk syrup buyers, state inspectors and others who might need to accurately grade maple syrup or judge maple products in a context setting. The school will provide participants with a scientific base along with hands-on exercises.
Maple syrup production is on the rise in northeastern North America, and proper grading plays an important role in helping determine the purity and natural content of products, which affect pricing. Consistent understanding of grading among U.S. and Canadian producers can yield significant benefits for consumers.
UMaine Extension Educator Kathy Hopkins will be available at the event on Thursday and Friday. She works with maple syrup producers statewide, and she has conducted research on important issues facing the maple industry including studies related to food safety and consumer acceptance of maple products.