Website/Online Content

Heather Bryant and Mary Saucier Choate
Extension Field Specialist, Food & Agriculture
UNH Cooperative Extension
Grafton County

Bryant, H.*1, , Choate, Mary Saucier2,
1 Extension Field Specialist, Food & Agriculture, UNH Cooperative Extension, North Haverhill, NH, 03774
2 Extension Field Specialist, Food & Agriculture, UNH Cooperative Extension, North Haverhill, NH, 03774

Maple syrup operations are both farms and food processing facilities in the eyes of the FDA, and may have some compliance requirements under the Preventive Controls Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  However, they tend to see themselves as neither farms nor food processing facilities, and they tend to conduct their professional development separately from those entities.  Thus we, Heather Bryant and Mary Saucier Choate, Field Specialists with UNH Cooperative Extension, were concerned that maple producers were not receiving FSMA outreach. 

We applied for and received a Food Safety Outreach Program pilot project grant from USDA-NIFA to create a workshop and educational materials tailored for NH maple producers.

Determining where you fall under the rules is often the most difficult part of the process for maple producers so we began by developing an online tool to simplify the process.  We used Qualtrics software.  While there are similar tools available online, this is the only one that we know of that is tailored to maple producers.  It works like an interactive flow chart.  We designed it to ask a series of questions and based on the answers, tell the user where they most likely fall under FSMA.  We posted the tool online along with other more general FSMA resources that our team created outside of this grant project (see them here). 

The NH Maple Producers Association assisted us in promoting the tool and workshops to their members, and we also used the tool as part of an interactive session within the workshops.  In February 2020 we posted the tool to a regional food safety information clearinghouse for wider distribution.  First launched in fall 2018, the tool has been used 527 times, including 218 times since March 15, 2019.  According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture there are 528 maple operations in NH so we feel the reach of our tool has exceeded our expectations.