As Vermont's sugar makers prepare for sugaring season, Representative Peter Welch was at Morse Farm in Montpelier this afternoon to highlight important victories for the state's maple producers in the new Farm Bill which was signed into law by President Obama on February 7th. Welch's initiatives to help maple producers modernize and become more energy efficient were included in the bill.
"The superior quality of Vermont maple syrup is known around the world," said Welch "The maple provisions in the Farm Bill will give a boost to Vermont sugar makers and help them plan for the future."
The new law includes two of Rep. Welch's bills that support the maple industry. The first initiative will help sugar makers install energy efficiency upgrades that will reduce fuel consumption during the sugaring process. Also included was the Maple Tapping Access Program (TAP) Act, which authorizes grants to states and research institutions to support research and promotion of maple syrup.
Those in attendance at today's event included:
Burr Morse, Morse Farm
Chuck Ross, Secretary of Agriculture
Matt Gordon, Executive Director of Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association
Tim Perkins, Director of Proctor Maple Research Institute at UVM
Sam Cutting, President of Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, and Dakin Farm
Henry Mackres, maple specialist at Agency of Agriculture
Ted Brady, State Director of USDA Rural Development
David Marvin, Butternut Mountain Farm
Tom Berry, Office of Senator Leahy
Jenny Nelson, Office of Senator Sanders