State budget sweetens NY maple industry

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Mobile exhibit, educational outreach funded

            (ALBANY, NY) – The newly adopted state budget provides funding to continue the promotion of the nation’s second-largest maple industry. In addition to its annual $225,000 allotment, the NYS Maple Producers’ Association received a one-time allocation of $63,000 to expand educational outreach throughout New York.

“Maple is one of the state’s fastest growing industries with farmers doubling their production over the last ten years,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee. “This funding will help promote New York’s maple industry by showing communities how syrup and other maple products are made by local farmers.”

The new funding included in the 2019-20 State Budget will allow the Maple Producers’ Association to purchase and equip a mobile unit that will travel across New York for demonstrations and tastings. This will also include visits to elementary schools as part of New York’s successful “Ag in the Classroom” program.

In addition to the $288,000 allocated for the Association, $125,000 was included in the final budget for Cornell University Maple Research that will further assist the industry.  While the maple industry is always a priority, funding for the new maple trailer was widely supported by downstate legislators in particular, who are looking forward to it visiting their districts.

“This initiative supports a growing New York maple industry and is a unique opportunity to engage our youth,” said Keith Schiebel, Maple Support Specialist for the NYS Maple Producers’ Association. “Wherever the mobile display travels, food enthusiasts will have an opportunity to experience the taste sensations of real, pure maple syrup and explore the sweet possibilities of maple. We appreciate Assemblywoman Lupardo’s efforts to secure this funding.”

New York is the second-largest producer of maple in the United States, generating an estimated $141 million in economic impact each year. Farmers produced 800 thousand gallons of maple in 2018, nearly double the amount from ten years ago. The state is home to the largest resource of tappable maple trees within the United States, and more than 2,000 maple sugarmakers.