State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) Tuesday welcomed Delaware County maple producer Dwayne Hill to the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee meeting.  “Dwayne Hill is a great advocate for the maple industry and his perspective is always welcome in Albany,” said Senator Seward.  “I have visited Shaver-Hill Maple Farm, and, of course, enjoyed the superb products Dwayne and his family make and have been a longtime advocate for the Maple Producers Association.”    Hill is a past president of the New York State Maple Producers Association and also owns and operates the family-run Shaver-Hill Farm in Harpersfield.  He was joined by other maple syrup experts to detail industry trends and promote the upcoming Maple Weekend events on March 19 & 20 and April 2 & 3.  More information is available on line at www.nysmaple.com.  Senator Seward has consistently lead the fight to add state funding to the state budget to support the Maple Producers and help market other New York grown products.  The senate budget resolution adopted this week includes a $213,000 funding restoration for the Maple Producers Association which was cut from the governor’s budget proposal.  “New York State’s maple syrup production continues to grow and producers are finding so many innovative and unique ways to incorporate this farming mainstay into more products.  We need to ensure that New York State continues to encourage growth in this key agricultural specialty,” Seward added.  New York is the nation’s second largest producer of maple syrup – after Vermont – with 2.3 million taps, double the number of 2009.  Syrup production in 2015 reached its highest level in 70 years, according to the USDA.