The New York State Maple
Producers Association appreciates the show of confidence from lawmakers who
have continued support for the maple industry in the 2009-10 state budget.
The $131.8 billion budget passed by the Senate and
Assembly on April 3 includes $150,000 for NYSMPA programs. That is the same
support given in the 2008-09 budget.
“We’re delighted to get it, considering
the way the budget situation is in Albany,” NYSMPA President Dave
Campbell said. “Legislators clearly see the potential for increased
production and marketing for New York State maple syrup.”
Both Campbell and NYSMPA Executive Director Mary
Jeanne Packer said the state support affirms the Association’s
efforts to promote the industry.
“They are pleased with what we’ve
accomplished with promotions money. They see there’s still potential,
and they’re willing to put up the money,” Campbell said.
Packer also pointed to state support in the creation
of the Maple Task Force, officially announced by Ag & Markets on March
25. Additionally, almost every newspaper in the state offered some type of
coverage of maple season and Maple Weekend events.
“It’s in people’s minds now that New
York really is a maple producing state,” Packer said.
Campbell said interest from New York City schools in
the Vernon Verona Sherrill Central School FFA mobile maple exhibit
continues to increase. State funds could be used to help meet that demand,
The fall promotion with the state’s apple
growers was very successful, and it’s a program Packer and Campbell
want to see grow. One of the program’s components was recipe cards,
which were a big hit at apple orchards as well as at the NYSMPA Maple
Center at the NYS Fair and at members’ sugarhouses and sales areas.
The thousands of recipe cards printed are all gone
now, and Campbell said state money could be used to renew the effort while
developing more ways to get them into the hands of consumers.
Outreach to producers should continue, Packer also
said, mentioning a campaign launched this winter in partnership with the
Cornell Maple Program and CCE that encourage producers to talk to their
neighbors about leasing trees or collecting and selling sap.
Meeting with lawmakers and answering their questions
about the maple industry are key components to the Association’s
success in getting the state support restored. Packer recalled that
participation by association members in Maple Lobby Day in February was the
highest ever. “It was really a huge team effort,” she said.
“All of our trips to Albany have paid
off,” said Campbell.
For more information, contact New York State Maple
Producers Association, Inc. at P.O. Box 210, Watkins Glen, NY 14891; or