State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced several initiatives to promote New York State’s dairy industry during Dairy Month. Throughout the month of June, the State is partnering with New York dairy processors, farmers and New York State retail outlets, including the State’s Welcome Centers, to celebrate New York dairy with tastings of New York products, including milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt and ice cream.
Commissioner Ball said, “Dairy is the largest sector of our agricultural economy, providing jobs and investment in our regions. We are proud of New York’s dairy industry—its farmers and processors who are resilient and innovative and who help feed our communities. We need to continue to support our dairy farms and businesses and work even harder so that today’s consumers understand the importance of buying local dairy products. During Dairy Month, and year-round, we encourage everyone to look for Plant Code 36 on their dairy products and buy local.”
Today, Wednesday, June 5, the Department participated in Dairy Day at the Legislative Office Building and offered free milk samples of Beecher’s and Argyle Cheeses. Beecher’s and Argyle are proud participants of the New York State Grown & Certified program, which has grown to include 24 dairy processors, representing over 2,178 dairy farms across the State. Eight new dairy processors have joined the program since last year.
They include: Autumn Ridge Goat Farm, Berle Farm, Cedar Hedge Farm, Hidden Pastures Dairy, The Indian Milk & Honey, North Country Creamery, Painted Goat Farm, Perry’s Ice Cream Co., Stap Dairy Inc., and WNY Cheese Enterprise.
Throughout the month of June, New York State’s Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores around the State will be hosting dairy samplings and special events. A list of events is here. Taste NY markets will also celebrate Dairy Month and showcase New York’s local dairy producers with special promotional signage and displays.
Next week, Commissioner Ball, staff from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and members of the New York State Dairy Promotion Order Board will conduct a tour of the dairy industry. The tour will focus on marketing and research innovation and will include a visit to Upstate Niagara Cooperative, located in Buffalo, Erie County, Craig’s Station Creamery (Dairy Farmers of America Cooperative) in Pavilion, Genesee County, and HP Hood in Batavia, Genesee County.
Larry Webster, CEO of Upstate Niagara, said, “As a proud participant in the NYS Grown & Certified Program, Upstate Niagara is a farmer-owned, vertically integrated Cooperative that for generations has manufactured high-quality products inside our New York State plants made with milk from our New York State farms. We are proud to market these award-winning dairy products across the country under the Upstate Farms, Bison, Intense Milk, and Milk For Life brands. We thank Commissioner Ball for his support of ‘June Is Dairy Month’ and look forward to his visit next week to discuss the future of the dairy industry.”
Renee Day, Western NY Welcome Center Taste NY Market manager, said, “Dairy Month at our Taste NY Market at the Western NY Welcome Center gives us the opportunity to showcase everyone’s favorite comfort food. From milk and cookies, to cheese and crackers, to ice cream sundaes, we’ve got something for everyone. Best of all, it’s homegrown goodness from Western NY. Our local family dairies provide unique products that create a great foundation for our farm to table community.”
Jennifer Kraft, Taste NY Market manager and Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, said, “We are fortunate to have over 30,000 dairy cows living in the Adirondacks and a plethora of dairy producers in our immediate area. Taste NY at the Adirondacks Welcome Center is proud to feature a variety of New York State dairy products during the month of June including artisan cheese, ice cream sandwiches, butter, yogurt, and farm fresh milk!”
Gina Mintzer, Executive Director, Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, operator of the Taste NY vending market, said, “The Taste NY vending market at the Adirondacks Welcome Center is offering a variety of dairy products from Washington and Warren Counties farm producers. Featured farms include Ronnybrook Farm, Nettle Meadow, Bunker Hill Organic Creamery, King Brother's Dairy, Black River Valley Natural Farm, Nuns of New Skete, and Argyle Cheese Farmer offering maple and chocolate milk, cold coffee brew, ice cream, drinkable and regular yogurt, cheeses, flavored butters and more. It's a real privilege to present these products in vending machines to the traveling public.”
Earlier this month, the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, in partnership with American Dairy Association Northeast and Cornell Cooperative Extension, kicked off Dairy Month with its Dairy Education series. This is the second year of the program designed to help New York’s school children understand where their milk and dairy products come from and instill in them an early appreciation of the benefits of consuming New York products and of New York farmers who provide these nutritious products. More than two dozen staff from the Department are visiting elementary and middle schools in over fifteen counties across the State this month.
To celebrate World Milk Day, an international day established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to recognize the importance of milk as a global food, the Department also registered its Dairy Education series on their website