Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Peter Welch (D-VT) today introduced the Supporting All Producers (SAP) Act, legislation to require the United States Department Agriculture (USDA) to consult with maple producers when determining education and research priorities for the Acer Access and Development Program (Acer). Acer is a competitive grant program, supporting research and education related to maple syrup production and sustainability in the maple syrup industry.
"Maine has a rich and storied tradition of producing some of the most exceptional maple syrup in the world,” said Senator Collins. “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.”
“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 Senator 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.”
The Acer Access and Development Program funds research and education initiatives on maple syrup production, natural resource sustainability, and marketing for maple products. The program also works with landowners to begin or expand maple-sugaring activities or to make the land available for others to do so.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.