Rep. Patterson Proposes March Be Ohio "Maple Syrup Month"
Lawmaker wants to sweeten Ohio economy with recognition of important industry
January 30, 2014
[ John Patterson Home | John Patterson Press ]

State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) announced on Wednesday the introduction of a bill to designate March as “Maple Syrup Month,” House Bill 418.

“The maple syrup industry is booming in Ohio, especially in the 99th House District” said Rep. Patterson. “It’s my hope that by designating March as Maple Syrup Month, we can bring more awareness to the industry andsweeten Ohio’s economy with increased maple tourism.”

According to the Ohio Maple Producers Association, Ohio’s maple industry contributes roughly $5 million to the state’s economy each year. Across Ohio, more than 900 families produce nearly 100,000 gallons of syrup annually. March is the peak of maple production season.

“Maple syrup is a unique product made in a limited part of the world, and Ohio is in the heart of that area,” said Nate Bissell, owner of Bissell Maple Farm in Rock Creek and board member of the Ohio Maple Producers Association. “When people come to visit Ohio sugarhouses in March, it improves every aspect of the local economy. Food, lodging, gas, local stores and shops—all benefit from Ohio Maple.”

H.B. 418 was referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the bill is expected to receive its first hearing next week. Members of the committee traveled to Ashtabula County last fall to learn more about how the county contributes to Ohio’s agriculture industry, including discussion of maple production.

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