The 2013 Pennsylvania Fall Maple Tour took place over the weekend and brought together many maple producers.
-The 2013 Pennsylvania Fall Maple Tour took place over the weekend and brought together many maple producers.
"The maple tour provides the opportunity to see how different maple producers run their operations," said Kristin Curtis, secretary for the Northeast Pennsylvania Maple Producers Association. "There are a lot of similarities, but there are a lot of differences."
On Friday the tour stopped at Shemanski Maple Syrup, David and Barbara Hauenstein of Aldenville, Creamworks Creamery, Nebzydoski's Maple Farm and Burke's Maple, with lunch at the Red School House.
On Saturday the tour stopped at Augusta Acre Farm, Sculpted Ice Works, Lacawac Sanctuary and Nature Preserve and Dave and Jane Altemier's, with lunch at Watres Lodge.
Joining the tour was the state Maple Sweetheart, Stephanie Snyder from Erie, and the two candidates who could take her place, Tracy Robinson of Coudersport and Rachel Phinney of Meshoppen.
"The Maple Sweetheart represents the maple industry in Pennsylvania," said Peggy Simons, president of the Northeast Pennsylvania Maple Producers Association. "They attend public functions, go to schools and be an advocate for Pennsylvania maple syrup."
There are five different Maple Producers Associations in the state, which make up the Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council. It was created in the early 1960s with the help of the Penn State Extension. Each year a different association hosts the maple tour.
Ralph Curtis,who is the last remaining original members, also took part in the tour.
"We have 3,500 taps and we use a vacuum for 85 percent of the syrup, as well as reverse osmosis technology," said Ron Shemanski, co-owner of Shemanski Maple Syrup.
He is also the president of the Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council and the vice president of the Northeast Pennsylvania Maple Producers Association.
"I enjoy having people come here," Shemanski said. "I work very hard to keep the place nice and I love showing it off."
Shemanski started helping out when he was 16 years old. His uncle and grandpa were in charge of the business previously.
"Other producers throughout the state come out to see how different places work their operation," he said. "Maple producers are innovative and come up with some of their own methods too."
You can find out more about Shemanski Maple Syrup by visiting www.shemanskimaple.com.
While the maple tour was going on there was also a trade show at The Settler's Inn, with people from Pennsylvania, Vermont and New York.
"It's impressive that people from out of state came here for this," Simons said.