- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Gov. Paul LePage is helping kick off maple syrup season in the state.

The Republican governor tapped a maple tree outside the Blaine House on Wednesday alongside Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, lawmakers and maple syrup producers.

LePage is pointing to a new study by a University of Maine professor that says Maine’s maple industry contributes nearly $28 million to the state’s economy. LePage says the maple syrup industry has a “huge potential for additional job creation.”

On Sunday, Maine will celebrate “Maple Syrup Sunday,” an annual event to promote the industry. LePage’s office says Mainers can visit more than 100 sugarhouses for activities like syrup and candy sampling and syrup-making demonstrations.

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