The dairy industry is the largest single segment of New York's agricultural industry. The state has more than 4,000 dairy farms, is the fourth largest producer of milk, and is the largest producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. The dairy community in New York includes both large dairy operations and small, family run farms. It also boasts processing facilities of various types and sizes, from major global processing companies to small artisanal dairy product makers.
The Department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services is responsible for many aspects of the state’s dairy industry, including licensing of dairy facilities, inspection of dairy processing plants, sampling of milk and milk products to ensure food safety protections, operating the state milk marketing order, overseeing the implementation of dairy promotion activities, and more. This work plays an important role in protecting public health and promoting the agricultural economic development of the dairy industry.
All dairy processing facilities, dealers, specialty dairy product producers, brokers and haulers are required to have a current, up-to-date license.
New milk dealer license applications and license renewals are reviewed and evaluated in terms of financial responsibility, character, and ability or performance of the applicant in conducting the proposed business and providing service to the public.
There are a few exemptions from the state’s licensing requirements. These pertain to some milk dealers, stores, and producers.
Safeguarding Products from Production to Consumption
Milk plant operators, producer cooperatives, milk distributors, haulers and brokers are licensed as milk dealers according to the functions they perform. Find out which license your business needs and how to apply.