Local Maple Study Finds ‘Gold In Them Thar Hills’

syrupNorthcentral Pennsylvania has an abundant untapped natural resource that holds vast potential to lift the region’s economy and its national profile. In this case, the term “untapped” is meant to be taken literally, because the resource is the sap that runs every spring from hundreds of thousands of maple trees across the area. Less than one in 10 of those trees is tapped for syrup-making or other maple products. A strategic plan to increase that ratio and help maple producers — especially in Potter and Tioga counties — was recently released after a year of research. The final product features:

  • strategies to help maple producers tell their individual stories better;
  • suggestions for strategic collective marketing of regional maple products;
  • ideas for developing a brand identity for syrup and other maple-based products from northcentral Pennsylvania;
  • a plan to collect images and stories from individual producers to be used in marketing materials and media outreach.

Other regions, particularly Vermont, have built their own reputations for high-quality maple syrup. Local products are arguably better, or at least on par, with New England’s, but the marketing and brand-building has not been as effective. Cheryl Hargrove, a prominent food artisan and cultural heritage authority, set out to address that in developing the plan, using a state grant awarded to the Pennsylvania Wilds. She partnered with the Pennsylvania Lumber Heritage Region, Potter County Visitors Association, Tioga County Visitors Bureau and the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance. Copies of the plan can be obtained from the Route 6 Alliance office, or by email at terri.paroute6@verizon.net.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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