Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA), in conjunction with the West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association and Pierpont Community & Technical College, will host a Maple Confections School July 28th and 29th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the College in Fairmont, West Virginia.
"This is workforce development in action! What an exciting opportunity for people to be plugged into a growing industry in West Virginia," stated Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. "We saw a 33 percent increase in production from last year from our maple producers which makes these classes so timely."
The classes will be taught by Jake Mosher, from Croghan, NY. Mosher has been in the confection's industry for over a decade and helps runs a family farm that produces over 600 gallons of maple syrup annually. All syrup produced by their farm goes into value-added products like maple candy, creams and sugars.
The two-day school will start with the basics in 'Confections 101' on Friday. This session will focus on the basics of hand-making small batches of maple candy, cream, sugar and lollipops, and how to choose the best syrup to make a product. A more advanced class, 'Confections 201,' will be held on Saturday. This class will offer advanced techniques for confection making, avoiding common mistakes and learning how to use machinery to make different confections.
"The goal of these classes is to give attendees the tools they need to create value-added maple products. If maple syrup producers know how to take syrup and make it into something more valuable, they can increase their profit margins hand over fist," stressed WVDA Commodity Technical Assistant Mike Rechlin.
Both classes are open to the public, however, space is limited. There is a $15 per day fee to cover lunch. Those who wish to attend need to register in advance at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eeb48vleb6053361&oseq=&c=&ch or contact Rachel Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 456-4331.