Assemblyman Magee: Maple Weekends Bring Spring Sweetness to New York State
Thereís nothing quite like the taste of maple syrup on a fresh stack of pancakes or waffles. Flowing maple sap is a telltale sign that the temperatures are rising and the seasons are changing. From that sap, our maple producers create the products that make up one of New York Stateís fastest-growing industries.
Aside from being a tasty topping, maple syrup continues to have a major impact on our state economy. New York State is the second-largest producer of maple syrup in the country, producing 760,000 gallons in 2017, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year.1 The state set a new record for number of taps as well, boasting 2.65 million taps in 2017, up from 2.5 million taps in 2016, which had been New Yorkís highest number since 1947.2
This booming business will take the spotlight during our annual Maple Weekends, running March 17-18 and March 24-25. Maple Weekends allow New Yorkers around the state the opportunity to visit maple farms and experience how maple syrup is produced. It also gives farmers a chance to connect with consumers and showcase the top-notch products they work so hard to make. And, of course, visitors will have the opportunity to taste some delicious maple syrup at the pancake breakfasts offered at numerous locations around the state. Maple products will also be available to purchase.
Earlier this year, local students hosted the 2018 New York State Maple Conference at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (VVS) High School, where they demonstrated the latest equipment and techniques for maple production. The VVS Future Farmers of America (FFA) also hosted its seventh annual maple conference auction, allowing visitors to buy and sell their maple products. The conference also featured eight speakers and over 40 workshops. VVS students handed out samples of maple syrup and had an exhibit on maple farming on display at the 2017 New York State Fair.
As chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Iím committed to ensuring the continued growth of maple production in our state. Thatís why I worked to restore $125,000 for Cornell University maple research and $215,000 for the Maple Producers Association in the 2017-18 state budget, and Iíll do everything I can to make sure they receive funding again this year. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other community issue, please donít hesitate to contact me at MageeW@nyassembly.gov or by calling 315-361-4125.