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Schumer Tours Brand New State-of-the-Art Crown Maple Syrup Production Plant that Could Revolutionize Maple Industry in Hudson Valley and Throughout Upstate – Pushes Maple TAP Act to Boost Syrup Production and Help Facility Create Hundreds of New Jobs

News Release from Office of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, April 27, 2011

New Maple Tapping And Production Facility Already Supporting 50 Construction Jobs, Will Support 100 Jobs At Full Capacity, And Could Host Even More If We Can Grow And Expand NY’s Maple Industry

Dutchess County Taps Less Than 1% Of Its Over 6 Million Maple Trees, Leaving Money And Sap Stuck In Trees Across The County

Schumer: This Facility Is Proof That Maple Syrup Has Huge, Untapped Potential In NY; New Legislation Would Pour Even More Jobs Into Dutchess County

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer toured Crown Maple, a nearly-complete, state-of-the-art maple production facility that could create hundreds of new jobs in Dutchess County. The facility and surrounding farm, set to open in just a few short weeks, host both maple sap tapping and syrup production infrastructure, and will employ approximately 100 people when they reach full capacity. Thanks to new production technologies, the facility is able to produce three times the amount of maple syrup from a gallon of sap than more standard methods. Schumer believes that facilities like these, along with his Maple TAP Act, could allow New York State to fully catch up with its maple industry potential.

"I’m proud to welcome this new syrup facility into the sweet mix of New York’s economy," Schumer said. "The economic benefits go well beyond the hundreds of jobs which will be created when this plant opens in a few weeks. If we can tap into New York’s maple industry and allow it to expand with the resources we naturally have, the potential growth to our state’s economy is truly astounding."

"Senator Schumer's strong support of the NY maple industry gave my wife Lydia and me the confidence to move forward on this exciting project," said farm owner Robb Turner. "Many people at Crown Maple have worked hard to make it a reality. We're all very happy to show the Senator what's been accomplished and the many benefits this project provides the local community. We think this proves that maple has a great future in New York state."

Following the tour, Schumer was joined by Robb and Lydia Turner, one of Crown Maple Farm’s owners, and Economic Development Officials to announce his effort to include the Maple TAP Act in the upcoming Farm Bill. Schumer’s bill would open up new lands to maple tree tapping as well as expand industry research, development, and marketing grants. The legislation would provide grants to states that create programs to help maple farmers tap into trees that are currently untapped on private lands. The legislation would also provide for the creation of grants to states to support the domestic maple syrup industry through the promotion of related research, education, natural resource sustainability and marketing, as well as the expansion of maple-sugaring activities.

Crown Maple Farm is located in Dutchess County, and is a state-of-the-art maple tapping and production facility. Crown Maple Farm is owned and managed by Robb and Lydia Turner and is part of Madava Estates. The farm and production facility is located in the Hudson River Valley, and the 800 acre property contains thousands of sugar and red maples that produce an ideal sap for maple sugaring. Crown Maple has invested in some of the most advanced maple syrup production technologies available which will allow New York to become the leader in U.S. maple production. Crown Maple has already created 50 construction jobs, and expects to employ approximately 100 New Yorkers once at full capacity. Thus far, Crown Maple met its first year production goal of 7,000 gallons of syrup. The syrup has been tasted by some of the top chefs in New York City who have placed orders for the product. The company expects first shipments starting next week.

Crown Maple Farm has invested in new, state of the art technologies to produce maple syrup. Crown Maple has 450,000 lineal feet in place for lines of operation that will feed the sap into the collection "sugarhouse" and production facility. When sap is collected, in the ‘sugarhouse’, it meets the green, organic production techniques to produce pure maple syrup. Through this technique, Crown Maple creates .6 gallons of syrup per 1 gallon of sap, approximately 3 times more than is produced using more standard techniques. Crown Maple currently has about 18,000 taps in the estate’s maple trees, and plans to have 30,000 on the 800 acre property next season. Once fully operational, the building will support 400,000 taps.

New York currently taps less than 1 percent of the state’s nearly 300 million maple trees, forcing the U.S. to import four times as much maple syrup as it produces. The state has failed to take full advantage of its maple resources in part because nearly three quarters of the tappable maple trees are on privately owned land, potentially leaving over $80 million worth of maple sap inside the trees. Despite having 200 million fewer maple trees than New York, the Canadian province of Quebec taps roughly a third of its maple trees and is able to put out over 40 million more maple trees every year, cementing its standing as the world’s leader in syrup production. Encouraging private land owners to open their lands to maple tapping, while also encouraging market promotion, research and education surrounding the industry, would create jobs in New York and provide an economic boost to the region. According to a Cornell study, the legislation could potentially unlock about $82 million in untapped revenue across New York state, including nearly $2 million from Dutchess County’s 6 million maple trees.

"Upstate New York stands ready and able to unleash the untapped potential of its maple syrup industry," Schumer added. "Despite reports that tapping season has begun, hundreds of millions of untapped trees are just sitting there, full of a lucrative natural resource that could propel New York to the top of the maple industry, as well provide a huge economic boost and new jobs to maple-rich Dutchess County. Crown Maple Farm is a perfect example of the huge potential that can be unleashed. That’s why I introduced the new and improved Maple TAP Act, which provides grants to help open up private lands for tapping, and for research and education in syrup production, further bolstering our efforts to make sure that New York’s agricultural market can reap the benefits of its natural resources. I am going to push as hard as I possibly can to make this legislation a part of the upcoming farm bill so that jobs can begin pouring into Upstate as soon as possible. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but with millions of trees waiting to be tapped, there may be bucketfuls of dollars inside them. The Maple TAP Act will help hardworking farmers across the state get their hands on a valuable product that will help them grow and expand their business."

Across New York State, there are over 280 million maple trees with syrup-tapping potential, with local upstate farmers relying on it as a lucrative pocket in the agriculture industry. However, despite the staggering number of trees across the state, less than one percent of them are currently used for maple tapping, forcing the U.S. to import four times as much maple syrup as it produces. By contrast, Canada currently produces 85% of the world’s maple product, tapping into over one-third of their maple trees. New York has about 1.8 million taps, while Quebec, the epicenter of the Canadian maple industry, has nearly 40 million.

To combat the lack of utilization of the state’s maple resources and unleash Upstate New York’s maple tapping and research potential, Schumer introduced new legislation that would authorize USDA to make grants of up to $20 million per year to support maple syrup production in states like New York. These grants could be used to encourage owners and operators of privately held land to expand their tapping operations or voluntarily make their land available for maple tapping, to promote maple industry research and education at institutions like Cornell, and for market promotion for maple syrup and maple products. Schumer will fight to include the Maple TAP Act in the upcoming farm bill.

"Passing this bill would provide a sweeter future for our maple farmers across Upstate New York, just as is seen here at Crown Maple," Schumer added. "The entire state economy benefits by building a thriving maple industry through research, education, marketing and additional tapping on these private lands, not to mention more delicious maple syrup for New Yorkers."

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