Celebrate New York’s Dairy Industry at The Great New York State Fair’s 42nd Annual Dairy Day, August 30

Celebrate New York's Dairy Industry at The Great New York State Fair's 41st Annual Dairy Day, August 31

Drawing for Taste NY Gift Baskets for Participants in Dairy Day Trivia Game

Famous Butter Sculpture Hits Half-Century Mark With 800-Pound Carving


The 2018 Great New York State Fair will celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Dairy Day with new events and opportunities for fairgoers to enjoy high-quality dairy products. Held Thursday, August 30, Dairy Day includes a full day of activities to educate guests about the State’s largest agricultural sector and recognize New York’s leading dairy processors. The famous Butter Sculpture hits a milestone as the longstanding tradition marks its 50th appearance at the Great State Fair. New this year, fairgoers will have the opportunity to pose for pictures at a dairy selfie station and win free tickets to next year’s Fair by posting their photos on Instagram with the hashtag #ilovemooyork.

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Dairy Day is a great opportunity to educate guests about the hard work that our dairy farmers put in to make delicious and nutritious foods for families across the State, and beyond. We are excited to highlight the industry and its many contributions to agriculture. I encourage fairgoers to stop at the Dairy Products Building, Dairy Cow Birthing Center, and join us for the many fun and educational activities on Dairy Day as we celebrate our farmers and processors.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New Yorkers are fortunate to have so many nutritious and delicious dairy products made right here at home. Dairy Day provides a great opportunity to enjoy some of the best farm-produced foods and beverages that the State has to offer. We are excited to educate fairgoers about the importance of our dairy industry and the thousands of farm families who bring us high-quality milk, cheese, yogurt and more.”

The Fair’s 50th Annual Butter Sculpture, created by American Dairy Association North East and sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets Inc., will be revealed on August 21, the day before the Fair opens. It will be on display in the Dairy Products Building during all 13 days of the Fair.

Dairy Day will feature a variety of activities to showcase the State’s dairy industry, beginning at 9 a.m. with the Recognition Awards & Awards Breakfast in the Empire Room. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. As part of the awards ceremony, Dairy of Distinction Awards and the Commissioner’s PRO-DAIRY Service Awards will be presented. Winners of the New York State Fair Dairy Products Competition, which includes entries in the cheese, fluid milk and other dairy products categories, will also be announced. Winning products will be on display in the new display cooler next to the Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Products Building.

Following the awards breakfast, guests can enjoy family fun and educational activities, including the local celebrity Milkshake Contest, to see who makes the best shake, at 10:30 a.m. at the Chevy Court Pavilion.

Across from the Chevy Court Pavilion, guests can see the famous Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Products Building and enjoy a variety of new toppings on Chobani yogurt at the Milky Bun yogurt bar and cheese booth. Visitors will be able to sample and purchase a variety of cheese from across the state, and taste samples from McCadam, which is a NYS Grown & Certified dairy processor.

Fairgoers will also have the chance to meet the State Dairy Princesses and buy a cup of perfectly chilled white or chocolate milk at the Milk Bar.  The Milk Bar is run by NYS Grown & Certified processor and fourth-generation family farm Byrne Dairy and, sponsored by Tully’s. Visitors can see how dairy products, like yogurt – the State’s official snack – are made.

Fairgoers will also have an opportunity to win a Taste NY gift basket filled with New York products by completing a trivia card and dropping it off at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center.

There, visitors can 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. Calves are available for petting.

A Milking Parlor in the Dairy Cattle Barn will feature live demonstrations, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., to show how milk gets from farm to fridge. Visitors will also learn fast facts about the history and scope of the state’s dairy industry.

Dairy cows will strut their stuff in the Tractor Supply Dairy Cattle Building and the day’s events will wrap up after the Dairy Day Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. and features floats, the Dairy Princesses, tractors and milk trucks.

Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East, said, “Dairy Day is a historical moment at the New York State Fair, honoring the state’s hard-working dairy farm families who ensure an ample supply of fresh, wholesome milk,” said “Dairy will be highlighted throughout the Fairgrounds including the ‘Undeniably Dairy’ media milkshake competition, activities in the Dairy Cattle Building, Dairy Cow Birthing Center, and the evening parade.  While there, visitors should be sure to go to the American Dairy Association Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Products Building, take a selfie and enter our #UdderlyNY Instagram Contest to win phenomenal prizes. It’s also the perfect opportunity for fair goers to stop by the Dairy Princess booth and ask questions about dairy products and farmers.”

Tim Reagan, president of the New York State Cheese Manufacturers Association, said, “We’re always glad to be part of Dairy Day and a strong dairy business in New York State is good for everybody. We’re proud to support Dairy Day and help educate fairgoers about our state’s cheeses, which are among the best in the nation.”

Tom Overton, Professor and Director of the Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY program, said, “Dairy Day represents the time when we reflect on the dairy industry, the most important agricultural industry in New York State. We are very pleased to present the PRO-DAIRY Agri-service Awards at Dairy Day to individuals within the New York dairy industry who have made unique contributions in industry leadership and collaboration with PRO-DAIRY programs.”

The Dairy Industry in New York

New York is the third-largest dairy producing state in the country, and dairy is the State’s number one agricultural sector. New York has approximately 4,500 dairy farms with 623,000 dairy cows, producing 14.9 billion pounds of milk, accounting for about seven percent of the nation’s total milk supply. New York is also a leading producer in the country of yogurt, 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 

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 22 to September 3, 2018. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov.