Super Sweet: Alcona FFA Maple Syrup Celebration Day

Maple syrup production is a strong aspect of the history of the Alcona FFA chapter. However, it wasn’t until 2005 through 2007 that the Alcona FFA chapter wrote grants to build their own maple syrup production facility for pure Michigan maple syrup at Alcona Community High School.  This dream came true; and in 2007, we built what was to become the Alcona FFA Sugar Shack. The Sugar Shack was added to a log cabin previously existing on our school’s property. Since the spring of 2009, we have hosted Maple Syrup Celebration Day at our facility – and this spring will be no different –marking the 10th Anniversary of this event!

The Alcona FFA Maple Syrup Celebration Day is a time to gather with the community and share the spoils of one of Alcona FFA’s largest projects – maple syrup production. At the Celebration Day, FFA members provide a free pancake breakfast served with their own FFA maple syrup. In addition, educational tours are provided and Alcona FFA pure Michigan maple syrup is available for purchase. Last year alone, we were excited to have 852 people attend and support what we do!

Alcona FFA Pancake Breakfast 2018
Alcona FFA Pancake Breakfast 2018

The tremendous support from our community makes what we do possible. So, we are excited to share that we will be partnering with Taste the Local Difference and local growers and producers this year to make this event a Certified Local Food Event. We’re working directly with local farmers Kevin and Shannon Rifenbark to procure pork sausage for the event. Plus, the coffee will be sourced from Alcona Coffee Company and butter is from Amish Country Cheese.

Annually, approximately 100 students run our maple syrup production project and over 1,000 community members visit our facility. High school students give tours to teach the production process – from collecting sap, to bottling the product – to make pure maple syrup. This has been a great learning experience for all involved. Last year alone, the Alcona FFA chapter produced 211 gallons of syrup and we are very excited for the upcoming 2019 syrup season.  

The 2019 Alcona FFA Maple Syrup Celebration Day is Saturday, March 16th at the Alcona FFA Chapter’s Sugar Shack at Alcona Community Schools. Breakfast will be served all day, featuring locally-sourced pancakes, coffee, sausage, and maple syrup; tours of the “Sugar Shack,” and a small animals exhibit. This is a free day of fun, food, and entertainment.

Alcona FFA Maple Syrup Celebration Day
9am-2pm, March 16th
Alcona Community Schools
51 North Barlow Rd., Lincoln, MI

Connor Hubbard is an agriscience teacher and FFA advisor at Alcona Community Schools in Northeast Michigan. You can contact him for more info on this and other FFA events via email at [email protected] or at (989) 736-8534 ext. 4204.

Find more event information here.