MADRID - State Senator Patty Ritchie attended a ceremonial tree-tapping, invited farmers to showcase their wares and tout the future of their industry, and announced a schedule of public events to mark the start of maple sugaring season in New York State.
Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senates Agriculture Committee, joined in a tree-tapping ceremony at the Kenny familys Sweet Creations maple farm in Madrid on Saturday.
On Tuesday, she was joined at a meeting of the Senate Agriculture Committee by representatives of the New York Maple Producers Association and update them on her efforts to gain increased state funding for promotion of maple products, as well as research to help grow the industry.
Maple growers are increasingly important to our states agricultural industryresponsible for tens of millions of dollars in sales and revenue every year, said Senator Ritchie. Ive been working to call attention to this important sector of our agriculture industry, and highlighting the potential for growth in a state where just 2 percent of our available maple trees are currently being used to produce syrup.
Im looking forward to hearing from producers their ideas on ways to grow the industry and help strengthen the bottom lines for hardworking New York farm families.
According to recent numbers, New York follows only Vermont for maple production, responsible for 20 percent of all U.S. production. In addition, the value of maple syrup and other maple products in New York state was $22 million in 2011.