Maple syrup producers in the Lanark & District area gathered at the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in Perth on Saturday, January 26, for the Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association’s (LDMSPA) Information Day and Annual General Meeting.
This annual event celebrates the accomplishments of member producers in the industry. This year’s event attracted more than 80 participants interested in obtaining additional resources and education for new and existing maple syrup producers.
Honoured at the event was Dwight James of Jameswood Maple, who received the Sugar Maker of the Year Award, a prestigious award presented to long term maple producers, or those that encourage and support start-ups in maple production. Recipients of the award demonstrate a willingness to share with a hands-on, innovative approach, and have worked towards the betterment of the maple industry as a whole. The award is sponsored by Springdale Farms.
Another local maple syrup producer, Jasper Norwood, was presented with maple syrup equipment by Leader Evaporator, Zoeller Maple Producers, and Bruce Leggett at the event. Norwood is a high school student who has been making syrup using homemade equipment and he was brought to Leader’s attention as a dedicated young maple syrup entrepreneur deserving of support.
In recognition of his achievements, Norwood was gifted with a small arch evaporator, finishing pans, and associated equipment, in addition to paying Norwood’s membership with the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association for 2019.
The meeting also featured presentations by industry leaders on a range of topics, including the economics of maple syrup production, syrup grading and judging, and updates on the forest tent caterpillar and its impact on the maple syrup industry, among other topics.
Equipment dealers were on hand to discuss equipment needs and new technology impacting the industry. An annual general meeting was also held during the event.
LDMSPA is a group of over 90 maple syrup producers located in the Lanark, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville Counties, as well as the Ottawa-Carleton areas of Eastern Ontario. LDMSPA is one of 11 local organizations that make up the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (OMSPA), a provincial organization that represents maple syrup producers across the province.
As a membership-based organization LDMSPA supports its members by providing a forum to promote the production of maple syrup products, assisting members to stay current on changing industry regulations, and providing opportunities for networking, and education on the maple syrup industry in Ontario.