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Photo Highlights from the 2005 Meeting of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association

December 3, 2005

Columbia City, IN

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  Art Harris, a member of the board of directors of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association and a producer from Greencastle, IN, reported on the current status of health inspections for Hoosier sugar houses. Harris served on the Indiana Department of Health’s task force on seasonal and value added foods. The task force advised health officials who are preparing sugar bush inspection guidelines for county boards of health. Harris noted that sugaring operations have always been subject to inspection the way Indiana statutes are written. It has been a matter of county boards of health choosing to do so. Harris and colleagues from the IMSA recommended ways to inexpensively modify sugaring operations to meet existing statutes. He expects many of these to be incorporated into the guidelines issued by the Indiana Department of Health. Photo L. Yoder
     
  Duane McCoy, a professional forester with the Indiana Division of Forestry, spoke to maple producers about chain saw safety and safer felling techniques. Mr. McCoy coordinates the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s Chain Saw Safety Training Program. McCoy showed examples of the personal protective equipment (PPE) now available as well as the safety features that should be present on a chain saw. He also discussed the "Directional Felling" method and strongly encouraged the Indiana Maple Syrup Association to sponsor a tree-felling workshop for their members.
“People generally do not know what protective gear is out there to keep them safe,” McCoy observed. “I appreciate the interest that the maple producers have in safety in the woods. Logging is the most dangerous profession in America for a reason.” Photo L. Yoder
     
  Kenneth Shipley, (left) a charter member of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association and treasurer for many years, receives a maple bench as a token of the IMSA’s appreciation from Louise Jewell, Public Relations Director and Dave Hamilton, current treasurer of the association. Shipley retired from his post as director and treasurer because of declining health. Photo L. Yoder
     
  Richard Schorr, Program Chair for the 2007 joint meeting of the North American Maple Syrup Council and the International Maple Syrup Institute, describes preparations being made for the meeting. The Ohio Maple Producers Association and the Indiana Maple Syrup Association will jointly host the meetings in Akron, Ohio in the fall of 2007. Photo L. Yoder
     
  R. Dean Payne, Farm Crop Specialist with Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, talks to the group about liability insurance. Mr. Payne outlined the differences between protection for maple syrup producers offered under homeowner’s insurance, the typical farm liability insurance policy, and commercial insurance. He admonished producers to sit down with their agents and discuss their operation. A producer must understand clearly what activities are covered under the policy they have in force and what activities require an additional policy or rider to properly manage risk. Many insurance companies provide consultants to help producers identify risk. “The worst time to find out about coverage is after an incident has occurred,” Payne noted. Photo L. Yoder
     
  Phil Marshall, entomologist and Forest Health Specialist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, updated members on the Asian long horn beetle, the emerald ash borer and the gypsy moth, three exotic insect pests of concern to Indiana maple syrup producers. Marshall showed photos to help producers spot evidence of these insects and he identified locations where these insects have been found. The emerald ash borer does not attack sugar maples directly, Marshall noted, but eradication efforts can include removal of all ash trees in a woods, and this activity often takes place at the same time that maple syrup is being made. Indiana has not had widespread defoliation by gypsy moth, but the insect is present in many areas and efforts to control the pest through pheromone spray will continue. Mr. Marshall said that an outbreak of the Asian long horn beetle would be the most devastating of all, and many of Indiana’s producers are within 150 miles of Chicago where the beetle was found. Fortunately, infested trees in the Chicago area were removed promptly, and no new infestations have been reported for the past two years. Photo L. Yoder
     
  Don Dodd (left) of Dodd's Sugar Shack talks with Indiana producers during a break time at the annual meeting of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association. Don was one of a half dozen midwestern dealers who exhibited at the Indiana meeting. Photo L. Yoder
     
  Joe Polak (left) talks with Dick Schorr, representative of the Ohio Maple Producers Association, during a break time at the annual meeting of the Indiana Maple Syrup Association. Joe, with his wife Barbara, owns Maple Hollow, one of a half dozen midwestern dealers who exhibited at the Indiana meeting. Photo L. Yoder