WHEREAS, each spring, as the snow begins to melt and the air becomes steadily warmer, residents throughout our Great Lakes State and beyond look forward to enjoying the locally produced maple syrup products from the current year's bountiful harvest; and,
WHEREAS, Michigan's fresh water supply, unique geographic location, rich and varied soil types and dedicated producers make our state a leader in both the production of an abundant array of crops and agricultural tourism opportunities; and,
WHEREAS, the maple season starts in February in the southern counties and runs into April in the Upper Peninsula; and,
WHEREAS, nationally, Michigan ranks seventh in the production of maple syrup, with an average production of about 100,000 gallons each year; in 2011, Michigan maple syrup contributed nearly $5.4 million to the state's economy; and,
WHEREAS, it is important to recognize food and agriculture as Michigan's second-largest industry, contributing $91.4 billion dollars to the state's economy each year; with each local food purchase, our communities and family farmers are strengthened by more dollars going directly to local growers and the area's economy, and the state's rich farmland is preserved; and,
WHEREAS, during Michigan Maple Syrup Month, we encourage Michiganders to acknowledge and recognize the vast, integrated network of family farmers, processors, wholesalers and retailers who work to ensure a safe and nutritious maple syrup supply that is enjoyed by many residents throughout our state and nation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2013 as Michigan Maple Syrup Month in Michigan.