|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: Denise Yockey|
House Ag Committee hears cider testimony
|(Lansing, Mich.) - Members of the Michigan Apple Cider Guild believe they are one step closer to seeing apple cider named the state's official beverage.
Michigan Apple Cider Guild President Richard Koziski testified before the House Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday, Oct. 17 urging lawmakers to support House Bill 4704, which proposes to designate cider as the state drink. Michigan Apple Committee Executive Director Denise Yockey also testified on behalf of the bill.
"Cider is a naturally good choice in terms of a state beverage for Michigan," said Yockey. "Cider is a little unusual outside the Great Lakes region. We have about 110 licensed cider mills in Michigan and they make up a very important sector of the apple industry."
Although the Committee did not take action on the bill, Michigan cider makers are encouraged by recent progress. In late September, the House of Representatives declared October as Michigan Apple Cider Month.
"You have shown your support with the cider month designation," said Koziski. "Now we would like you to go that extra mile, if you would please, and pass this bill."
If the bill passes, Michigan would become the only state in the nation to have apple cider as its state beverage.
According to the Michigan Apple Committee, apples are Michigan's largest and most valuable fruit crop, with a total economic impact of $450 million annually. There are more than 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 37,000 acres on 950 family-run farms throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
The Michigan Apple Cider Guild was formed in 1999 in an effort to ensure the highest quality cider for consumers.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.