There is a Maple Syrup Festival being held at the Williams County Fairgrounds in Montpelier on Saturday, March 26. This Festival will run 8 a.m. to noon. Featured will be Pancakes and Sausage Breakfast (beginning at 7:30 a.m.) with “Real” Maple Syrup! ($5 for adults, $3 for 7-12; 6 and under free)

There are also a number of activities, depending upon your interests: In addition to the Breakfast, under “Maple Syrup Festival Events” are horse-drawn wagon rides (9a-11:30a); tractor wagon rides; sugar shack, tree tapping, and collection process; Native American maple syrup history; and maple products (candy, fudge, cotton candy, etc.).

Woodland and Other Events will feature a portable sawmill, invasive species, logger educational display, plus others. Hunter safety, beekeeping, and wildlife pelts display will be part of the Wildlife Events. Visit for more information.

There is a Super Berry Workshop being held at the South Centers in Piketon on Friday, March 18, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Topics to be discussed include Assessment of Winter Injury of Blackberries and Grapevines; Health Benefits of Super Fruits; Container Fruit Production; “Chemigation” for Pest Management; Field pruning demonstrations of Blackberry, Blueberry, Elderberry, Grapevines, and Raspberry; and more! OSU Speakers include Dr. Gary Gao, Dr. Dan Remley, Dave Scurlock, and Ryan Slaughter.

The cost for this workshop is $25; registration is due March 14th. You can register by contacting Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132 or [email protected]. The South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio. For more information, go to

The last recertification meeting in this area for Private Pesticide Applicators is this week, Thursday, March 10th in Hardin county. This will be held at the Plaza Inn Restaurant, Mount Victory, with Pesticide Recertification 9 a.m. to noon and Fertilizer Certification from 1 to 3 p.m. You can get more information and register at, under “Private Applicator/Recertification.”

If you are unable to attend this meeting, you still have the option of coming to the Extension office and watching at least three hours of videos! This needs to be done before March 31! Be sure to call first to make an appointment …

Registrations for our three-hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification classes on Tuesday, March 22, are still rolling in!! You’ve still got a week (March 15) to join the group!! There are two FertCert training classes being offered at the Palazzo in Botkins: 2 to 5 p.m. and 6:15 to 9:15 p.m. There is also a supper available from 5 to 6 p.m. for both groups, Thanks to Bambauer Fertilizer and Seed!! Please let me know if you want to attend: [email protected].

Last week was the Conservation Tillage Conference. I only got there on Wednesday, but the topics were good! The “keynote” speaker was Barry Fisher (NRCS Central Team Leader and Soil Health Specialist) who spoke on the importance of soil health for all farmers. Yes, no-till and cover crops play a large role: Play like nature and keep something growing at all times. This creates root pathways for water infiltration, helps keep the soil in place, and provides cover and food for large- and micro-organisms in the soil. Once that structure is developed, avoid tearing it up. Tillage breaks up the soil structure, causing the particles to pack together and limiting space for air and water. Why did our ancestors pick this location in which to settle? Nature’s great soils!

Our Master Gardener Training class started last Thursday (why I only made it to CTC for one day)! We’ve got a great group of trainees from five counties! Interests range from vegetables to flowers and perennials. Regardless of gardening experience, all indicated a great desire to learn more! It looks to be a pretty good class!

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at [email protected].