New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball highlighted several actions the Department is taking in support of New York State’s dairy industry throughout Dairy Month, which is celebrated in June. This year, the State’s Dairy Month activities have an educational focus, including the re-launch of the Department’s Dairy Education Days series in elementary school classrooms across the state; a collaboration with New York Ag in the Classroom to help kids learn fun facts about dairy in their region; a focus on re-connecting communities with dairy farmers and processors through our Taste NY Markets; and the release of a Dairy Resources Guide that catalogs the resources the State offers to New York’s dairy industry.
Commissioner Ball said, “Dairy Month gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate New York’s tremendous dairy farmers and dairy manufacturers who are producing and processing some of the very best dairy products in the world. I’m proud of New York State’s strong efforts to support our dairy community, especially through the challenges of the past two years, with programs such as Taste NY and NYS Grown & Certified, while also focusing our efforts on promoting New York dairy products to our students and to consumers around the globe. We have a lot to be proud of when it comes to our dairy industry and I encourage consumers statewide to support their local community and economy by enjoying some delicious, nutritious New York dairy.”
Dairy Education Days
To teach children across New York State about the importance of fresh, nutritious dairy products in their diets, the Department is re-launching its Dairy Education Days after pausing due to the pandemic. Since the program’s launch in 2018, dozens of staff members from the Department have visited their local elementary and middle schools 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. Educational materials for the schools and students, including fun giveaways, are provided by the American Dairy Association North East. Department staff are visiting schools across the state this month to participate in this annual educational tradition.
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 has registered its dairy education series on their website
Taste NY Promotions
In June, Taste NY Markets and Welcome Centers throughout the state are celebrating Dairy Month by spotlighting different dairy producers in their regions and featuring a variety of delicious specials designed to encourage consumers to shop for local dairy products. Some of the featured products include Ronnybrook milk, Roc Star ice cream, Trinity Farm cheese curds, Ithaca Milk yogurt, Norwhey Nordic Seltzer, Stolzfus Dairy latte milk, Eden Valley Creamery cheese curds, Jane’s Ice Cream, a variety of McGrath semi-hard and soft cheeses, and Hudson Valley Fresh half and half and sour cream.
Additionally, in a collaboration with New York Ag in the Classroom, each Taste NY Market will also feature a Flat Bessie cow cutout that has traveled through local classrooms to gather dairy facts, photos, and dairy adventures in each region. At the end of her travels, each Flat Bessie will be displayed in the regional Taste NY Market, where visitors can vote for their favorite Flat Bessie on social media. Teachers can also use the hashtag #NYFlatBessie to track her progress and share with their communities. Find your local Welcome Center at taste.ny.gov for more information on these and other dairy month promotions.
New Yorkers can additionally shop online at www.ShopTasteNY.com to have sundae toppings and other items to pair with their New York State dairy products delivered right to their doorstep. Shoppers can use the promo code Moolicious for 15% off and free shipping on products during the month of June.
Dairy Resources Guide
To further support New York’s dairy industry during Dairy Month, the Department has also released a new Dairy Resources Guide cataloging the programs and other resources New York State offers to the state’s dairy industry. The guide includes information about technical assistance programs, grants, loans, tax incentives and a variety of other resources offered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and other state entities such as Empire State Development, New York Power Authority, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The guide is available on the Department’s website.
NYS Grown & Certified
During Dairy Month, the Department will additionally highlight the New York dairy industry across its social media channels, including NYS Grown & Certified producers that have recently joined the program, which highlights New York products that are produced with a focus on food safety and environmental sustainability. There are 39 participating dairy processors in the NYS Grown & Certified program, sourcing milk from thousands of dairy farms.
Amy S. Lesh, Taste NY Market Manager, Taste NY at Long Island Welcome Center said, “The New York State dairy month promotion is something that Long Island Taste NY looks forward to every year. Being able to highlight the importance and significance of dairy production throughout New York State at our local Taste NY marketplace definitely enhances the day-to-day education that we provide and helps boost our dairy sales. This month at Taste NY @ Long Island Welcome Center, we will be focusing on highlighting Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County inter-departmental dairy education programs that our nutrition program and 4-H Youth Development departments conduct, which highlight dairy production on Long Island and around New York State. Our Taste NY market allows Long Island residents access to New York State dairy products that might not otherwise be available.”
John Chrisman, CEO, American Dairy Association North East said, “To reinforce the ‘real enjoyment’ that dairy products provide, we announced our month-long partnership with SavorRecipes.com during National Dairy Month. New York’s dairy farmers and SavorRecipes.com launched the #DoItWithDairy promotional campaign to introduce consumers to quick and easy recipes via TikTok, which are designed to increase dairy sales by Gen Z, college students and Millennial parents. Consumers can purchase their dairy right from Savor’s website! Every week during June, culinary experts, registered dietitians, and even a dairy farmer influencer will teach consumers to make delicious dairy-centric recipes while learning more about the benefits of consuming dairy.”
Ozzie Orsillo, Executive Vice President, Northeast Dairy Foods Association said, “Dairy foods processors, manufacturers, and those companies providing goods and services to the dairy industry all play a vital role in the food supply of the citizens of New York and throughout the United States. In tough economic times, people always look to dairy products for the value-to-nutrition factor, and, as the consumer population continues to look for foods that are nutritious, minimally processed, locally derived, sustainable, and affordable, dairy checks all the boxes. Many of our members at Northeast Dairy Foods Association and Northeast Dairy Suppliers Association who process dairy foods, and the products and services needed to make those dairy foods, are experiencing a period of marked performance and growth. We see our membership expanding their facilities, retooling others and greenfield expansion projects which suggests a very positive outlook for our New York State dairy industry.”
About the Dairy Industry in New York State
New York’s dairy industry is a critical sector of the state’s economy and as its leading agricultural sector, dairy accounts for approximately one-half of New York’s total agricultural income. New York State has nearly 3,500 dairy producers that produce 15.5 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation’s fifth largest dairy state. New York’s unique and talented dairy producers and processors provide significant contributions to New York’s agriculture industry, the economy, and to the health of our communities.