Schumer Wants To Sweeten Deal For Local Maple Producers

Schumer Wants To Sweeten Deal For Local Maple Producers

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"They say money doesn't grow on trees, but here in the north country, it does - through maple," said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D. - NY). 

At the American Maple Museum in Croghan, Senator Schumer announced his plan to re-authorize and increase funding for a program that helps the maple industry. It's called Acer and it was part of the 2014 Farm Bill. 

"I am here to say that we are going to redo the Farm Bill we are going to get the Farm Bill done as soon as we get back after Election Day," he said.

The program provides grants to states and research institutions to help promote the maple syrup industry, like Cornell's College of Agriculture, which recently got a $500,000 grant for their maple program.

"I am a Acer grant recipient at Cornell University and we are very appreciative to Senator Schumer's work - first starting the Acer Program and seeing that it got funded," said Stephen Childs, grant recipient.

Part of the senator's support for the Acer Access and Development program is to allow maple producers across Lewis County to compete in the global market place with countries like Canada.

But there is a disagreement between the House and Senate over how much money to include in the maple program. The Senate wants to put $4 million in Acer and the House doesn't want to give any. Schumer wants the House to change its mind.

"I am pledging to the maple folks here that I am going to do everything I can to keep that $4 million appropriation which I got in the original appropriations bill in the bill," said Schumer.

Schumer also addressed his recent discussion with the secretary of the Army, where he asked him to prioritize Fort Drum's railhead in his 2020 budget. A railhead is a point on a railway where loads are transferred between trains and other means of transport.

"I work very closely with the military and General Mattis is a great - now Secretary of Defense - Mattis is a great guy and I will make it clear to the highest levels that I want this in the next budget," he said.

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