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Maple Syrup Production, Just One of the Many Hands-On Experiences for Students at WVU Potomac State College

Agriculture students on the campus of West Virginia University Potomac State College (PSC) have been involved in a number of hands-on educational experiences this spring, with the most recent being a maple syrup production project on the Gustafson Farm

Maple trees are usually ready to tap in February or early March, depending on the weather.  While the nights are still freezing, and as the days start to warm, the sap inside the tree begins to rise, creating pressure and causing the sap to flow.

Though the College has long-owned the land where the Sugar Maples grow, this is the first time the trees have been tapped.  “With the creation of a degree in Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship, or SAGE, the College recognizes the opportunities available to students who are exploring the field of agriculture.  This, along with a strong belief in experiential education, has encouraged our faculty to seek out tactile learning experiences for the benefit of our students,” said PSC President Jennifer Orlikoff.

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WVU Potomac State College Students (l-r) Lainey Smith, an agriculture education major from Red House, W.Va.; Madison Jackson, a SAGE major from Greenbrier County, W.Va.; and Kyle Cessna, a SAGE major from Cumberland, Md., along with SAGE Program Director Corey Armstrong, check out the sugar maple sap as it cooks to see if it’s turning to syrup.