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Radez takes second place in statewide maple syrup contest

June 13, 2017

A team of Radez Elementary students led by Librarian Laura Gagnon recently took second place in the inaugural Schoolyard Sugaring: Maple Syrup Contest.

In this contest, held by the New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Maple Foundation, students and teachers were exposed to the time, patience, and science it takes to turn sap into syrup by participating in every step of the maple syrup production process from tapping the trees to bottling the syrup.

More than 100 teachers registered their classrooms to participate, and each classroom was equipped with a book, lesson plans, and an empty pint jug to fill with their syrup and return for judging. Schools were paired by request with a local maple syrup producer who mentored the students through the process by either visiting their classrooms or inviting them to their sugarbush. Maple Hill Farms in Cobleskill volunteered to work with Radez students.

In this hands-on experience, students were exposed to careers in maple production and got a sense of the unpredictability the industry faces each year as it relates to weather.

Fifty entries were submitted for judging by a panel of maple producers. Each entry was scored for sugar content, clarity, color, and taste. The 1st place classroom in each division will receive $250, cosponsored by New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Maple Foundation. The top three rankings and honorable mentions are included in the results.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Maple Foundation would like to thank  each school that participated in the contest for increasing the agricultural literacy of their students. The combined hope of the two organizations that students will grow an appreciation and changed perspective about the maple and agricultural industries in New York, and grow in their awareness and understanding of New York’s food and fiber systems. To enter your classroom in a future contest, or to volunteer your time as a mentor maple producer, please contact

Category: News, Radez