Schumer introduces farm bill amendment promoting maple syrup production

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The amendment (#2427) was introduced by Schumer on Thursday to the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S.3240).

The amendment allows the secretary of Agriculture to introduce grants to states and tribal areas in an effort to promote maple syrup production through education and research, natural resource sustainability within the maple syrup industry, market production and efforts to expand maple sugaring activities. The secretary can also issue grants to states and tribal areas that make land available for "maple-sugaring activities."

The amendment defines maple sugaring as "means the collection of sap from any species of tree in the genus Acer for the purpose of boiling to produce food."

The amendment isn't the first piece of maple syrup legislation Schumer introduced. In November 2011 Schumer, along with five other senators, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), introduced a bill that outlawed selling fake maple syrup. The Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement (MAPLE) Act made selling fake maple syrup a felony offense with a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Schumer's amendment is one of more than a hundred senators have introduced since the Senate took up the farm bill. The Senate has been negotiating a deal over how many and which amendments it should consider for the farm bill. If a compromise is not found, the farm bill could stall despite having bipartisan support.