Today, Congressman Nick Langworthy alongside Congresswoman Becca Balint (D-VT) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Supporting All Producers Act of 2023, also known as the SAP Act, which would ensure that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) carefully follows input from maple syrup producers when directing research and education priorities under the Acer Access and Development Program. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) will be leading the Senate companion.
“Maple syrup producers across the country rely on the Acer Access and Development Program and as we seek to reauthorize this program in this year’s Farm Bill, it’s the perfect time to improve upon its goals with a bottom-up approach from stakeholders,” said Congressman Nick Langworthy. “This legislation will ensure the limited research and development dollars dedicated to the production of maple syrup are used in the most effective, efficient way to help sustain and grow this critical American industry.”
“Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States, making it an integral part of our economy and culture, said Congresswoman Balint. “Setting clear education and research priorities are fundamental to the future of the maple industry and none of that can be done without the input of maple producers themselves. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Rep. Langworthy to support our region’s maple industry.”
“Maple syrup production is a cornerstone of Vermont’s economy and culture—but it’s a challenging business and only getting more so as climate change continues to alter our environment and impact yields,” said Sen. Welch. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce the SAP Act. This bill will give our maple syrup producers a voice in the decision-making at Acer and help producers continue to create this world class Vermont product.”
“Maine has a rich and storied tradition of producing some of the most exceptional maple syrup in the world,” Senator Collins said. “This important bipartisan legislation will ensure that the voices of our maple syrup producers are heard in determining allocations under the Acer Access and Development Program. By requiring the USDA to consult with these hardworking individuals, we can prioritize research and education initiatives that directly support the growth and sustainability of our beloved maple syrup industry.”
In addition to requiring consultation with maple syrup producers on where to focus annual research and education priorities under Acer, this legislation would further require that such input be used, to the maximum extent practicable, in determining grant awards under the program. It would also reauthorize this critical program through 2028.
This Bill is endorsed by the International Maple Syrup Institute, Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association, Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, New York State Maple Association, New York Farm Bureau (NYFB).
“Maple syrup producers across the United States rely on the USDA Acer Access and Development Program to fund critically needed research to sustainably produce maple syrup and promote the use of this natural product. New York State Maple Producers’ Association applauds the introduction of the Supporting All Producers (SAP) Act by Representatives Langworthy, Balint, and all other cosponsors, as this bill will establish a mechanism for maple syrup producers to provide regular input to USDA of the industry priorities for this essential program,” said Daniel Weed, President of New York State Maple Producers’ Association.
“New York maple producers are among the nation’s leaders in tapping trees and bottling fresh maple syrup. Ongoing research and education have provided much needed information to improve efficiency and production methods, and it is imperative the funding continue. New York Farm Bureau thanks Rep. Langworthy for his introduction of the 2023 Sap Act to maintain the competitive ACER grant program in the next Farm Bill,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.
Original Cosponsors of this legislation are Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY), Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY), and Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
A link to the bill text is included here.
Congressman Nick Langworthy represents the 23rd Congressional District of New York which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties and parts of Erie County. Visit langworthy.house.gov.
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