Annual State Fair Tradition Highlights World-Class Dairy Products in New York State
Yancey’s Fancy Chastinet Cheese Named Grand Champion
Announces Expansion of New York’s PRO-DAIRY Program to Assist New York’s Dairy Farmers
Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced the winners of the 2019 Dairy Products Competition in celebration of the 43rd annual Dairy Day at The Great New York State Fair. Seventeen New York State companies took home Gold for products judged in 26 classes, including yogurt, dips, sour cream, cheese, milk and more. Yancey’s Fancy, from Corfu in the Finger Lakes region, was named the Grand Champion for its Chastinet Cheese. The state’s top-scoring milk belongs to Garelick Farms from Rensselaer in the Capital Region.
“Year after year, the State’s dairy processors, using New York milk, continue to make dairy products that set us apart from our competition.” Ball said. “I congratulate the winners of this year’s State Fair Dairy Products Competition and all of the participants, who take great pride in making delicious and healthy products for our families. Today is a great day for dairy, not only for these winners but also because we have good news on expansion of a program that helps our dairy farmers manage and grow their businesses.”
The 43rd Annual Dairy Day celebration, held this morning in the Fair’s Empire Room, awarded 34 processors and manufacturers from across the state with Gold, Silver, or an Award of Excellence. This year there were 234 entries from 44 different exhibitors, including processors that are NYS Grown & Certified. Other highlights from the competition include:
- Trinity Valley, from Cortland, Central New York region, earned top honors for Fluid Milk, Small Processor.
- Saputo Friendship, from Friendship, Western New York region, and Upstate Niagara, from Buffalo, Western New York, earned the most medals overall, with a total of eight each.
- McCadam Cheese earned five medals, including Gold, Silver, and Award of Excellence in the Flavored Yogurt category.
- Upstate Niagara took home Gold in the Plain Yogurt class and Byrne Hollow Farm, from Cortland, Central New York region, won Gold in the Flavored Yogurt class.
- Old Chatham Creamery, from Chatham, Capital Region, won Gold in the Farmstead Open Class category and Acorn Hill Farm, from Kerhonkson, Hudson Valley region, won Gold in the Farmstead Goat/Sheep Cheese class.
The entries were evaluated by eight expert judges from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, Vivolac and Wegmans. Winners of the competition will be displayed in the Dairy Products Building next to the Butter Sculpture. A full list of winners is available here.
In addition to the Dairy Products Competition winners, the Governor also announced today the expansion of the State’s PRO-DAIRY Program. The newly renamed Dairy Advancement Program is designed to help New York’s dairy farmers to address business needs necessary to meet the challenges of today’s marketplace and better position themselves for long-term success. The program received increased funding in this year’s New York State budget. The increase in funding will allow program administrators to increase the number of participants in the program and enable farms of greater dairy herd sizes to apply, increasing the maximum increase from 300-cow farms to 700-cow farms.
The Dairy Advancement Program, administered by Cornell University, helps New York dairy farmers with services such as business planning and development and on-farm production techniques related to the day-to-day farm operations that increase profitability.
Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “We congratulate the winners of our Dairy Products Competition, which features some of the best cheese, yogurts, sour cream and other milk products made right here in New York State. It’s a pleasure to host this competition as we celebrate Dairy Day and recognize our farmers and milk producers who contribute so much to New York State’s economy and quality of life.”
Dean Kathryn J. Boor of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Dairy Day is an ideal time for us to reflect on the largest agricultural sector in New York State. Cornell is proud to support the New York dairy industry and its unique contributions and innovative products.”
Promoting New York’s dairy industry has long been a central component of the State Fair, which began as an agricultural fair in 1841. The New York State Fair has since continued its commitment to the promotion of agriculture through competitions, exhibits and displays, while growing to become the third largest state fair in the country through the historic investment in the revitalization of its grounds, enhanced programming and special events.
Dairy attractions and exhibits will be featured during all 13 days of the Fair in the Dairy Products Building, including the popular Milk Bar, which offer 25 cent cups of cold white or chocolate milk supplied by NYS Grown & Certified processor Byrne Dairy, and the famous Butter Sculpture. Fairgoers can also enjoy a variety of new toppings on Chobani yogurt at the Milky Bun yogurt bar and cheese booth. They can also sample and purchase a variety of cheese from across the state, including from McCadam Cheese, which is also a NYS Grown & Certified dairy processor.
The Dairy Cow Birthing Center, located in the western area of the Fairgrounds, gives fairgoers an opportunity to witness live births of baby calves. More than 100 farmers, veterinarians, business representatives and agricultural students volunteer to assist with the births and explain the process to the public. In addition, the Milking Parlor in the Dairy Cattle Barn is featuring live demonstrations, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily, to show how milk gets from farm to fridge.
The Dairy Industry in New York
New York is a top producer of dairy products in the country, and dairy is the State’s number one agricultural sector. Currently, New York has nearly 4,000 dairy farms with a total of 623,000 dairy cows. In 2017, 14.9 billion pounds of milk was produced, approximately seven percent of the country’s total milk supply, making New York the third largest dairy producing state in the nation. New York is also a leading producer in the country of sour cream, cottage cheese, and creamed cheese. Total cheese production, excluding cottage cheeses, also continues to grow, accounting for more than 800 million pounds last year.
About the Great New York State Fair
Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair is America’s third largest state fair. The Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of Governor Cuomo’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. Fair attendance is up more than 40% since the beginning of more than $120 million in investments, with 1.27 million people attending the Fair in 2018. The 2019 Fair runs from August 21 to September 2. Information about the Fair can be found here.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available here. Find the Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair on Flickr. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at firstname.lastname@example.org.