Rep. Patterson's "Maple Syrup Month" Bill Passes House Unanimously
H.B. 418 to recognize importance of maple syrup industry in Ohio
February 28, 2014
[ John Patterson Home | John Patterson Press ]

State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) announced that his legislation to designate March as “Maple Syrup Month,” House Bill 418, passed the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously on Wednesday. 

“Maple syrup’s economic importance is not only felt in my home district, but throughout our great state,” Rep. Patterson said. “The hard-working families that produce maple syrup deserve recognition for the benefits they provide to the economy and to the state of Ohio”

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, maple syrup products provide more than $5 million to the state’s economy and supplemental income to many rural forest landowners each year. Nearly 1,500 families in 80 different counties throughout Ohio produce roughly 155,000 gallons of maple syrup annually. Ohio currently ranks 5th in the nation as a maple syrup-producing state. March was selected as the designated month as it is the peak of the tree-tapping season.

“Maple Syrup Month will also raise awareness to issues that affect Ohio’s maple industry, like deforestation and urban development,” said Rep. Patterson. “Even though production has been on the rise over the last decade, it’s important to note that both deforestation and urban development, coupled with climate change, have directly impacted Ohio’s ability to produce maple syrup.”

H.B. 418 now moves on to the Ohio Senate where it will likely be referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee. Recently, Sen. Capri Cafaro introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 272, which had its first hearing in the same committee on Wednesday.

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