ALBANY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced six additional dairy processors from the Capital Region, Central New York, Mid-Hudson, New York City, North Country and Western New York regions have joined the New York State Grown & Certified program. Consumers will soon be able to find the Certified label on select milk, yogurt and cheese products from Byrne Dairy, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, McCadam Cheese, King Brothers Dairy, Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy, and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. These dairy processors source their milk from more than 1,200 farms across the State, providing significant support to New York’s largest agricultural sector.
“Dairy is a major part of our agricultural industry and the New York State Grown & Certified program will help to further grow this critical sector of this state’s economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “By expanding this program to dairy, we promote even more of New York’s finest producers and hard-working farmers, connect consumers to high-quality products and support the growth of local economies.”
New York State Grown & Certified is a promotional program that distinguishes agricultural products that are sourced from New York farms and made by producers who meet safe food handling practices and demonstrate environmental stewardship.
Last month, the Governor announced a new partnership with Stewart’s Shops to expand New York State Grown & Certified to include Stewart’s milk, ice cream, half and half, heavy cream and eggs. Today’s announcement further advances the program’s goal of growing the State’s vital agricultural industry by highlighting New York farms and processors who meet a higher standard.
Western New York
Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is a food and beverage company owned by 345 New York dairy farm families, and has offered innovative, award-winning, high-quality dairy products to New York State residents for generations. With a commitment to quality that extends to every stage of production, from the farm to the consumer, their products include milk, flavored milk beverages, yogurt, dip, sour cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream mix products marketed throughout New York State under the Upstate Farms®, Bison®, and Intense Milk® brands. Headquartered in Buffalo, Upstate Niagara will be adding the New York Certified seal to many of their fluid milk products in the coming months.
Central New York
Byrne Dairy, a fourth generation, family-owned dairy processor and distributor, has already placed the New York State Grown & Certified label on its new line of Byrne Hollow Farm organic milk products, which are sold in Whole Foods Markets, Byrne Dairy stores, and other select retailers. Later this month, consumers can begin to look for the Certified label on Byrne Dairy’s new line of Byrne Hollow Farm grass-fed milk products sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club locations. In the coming weeks, Byrne Dairy also plans to announce another new and exciting line of products bearing the Certified label. Since the very beginning, Byrne Dairy has prided itself on working with hundreds of local and family farms—most of which are located no more than 40 miles from the company’s processing plants—to produce the freshest and best tasting dairy products.
McCadam Cheese, which is owned by Agri-Mark, the leading dairy farmer cooperative in the Northeast, has also joined the New York State Grown & Certified program. McCadam, located in Franklin County, manufactures award-winning New York Cheddar, Muenster and European-style cheeses using milk from 588 New York dairy farms that adhere to the highest quality standards. McCadam cheeses are sold in over 500 stores across the Northeast, including Hannaford and Price Chopper. Consumers can expect to see the Certified label on their products next year.
King Brothers Dairy is a family-owned farm and processor in Saratoga County. It is one of the remaining few dairy processors in the country that continue to deliver glass-bottled milk directly to customer’s doors. It is known for its top, purebred Holstein cows and high-quality milk. King Brothers Dairy delivers to customers across the Capital Region, and their products can be found in an increasing number of groceries and small markets in the region.
Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy is a cooperative of ten dairy farmers located in Dutchess, Columbia, and Ulster Counties. It is dedicated to preserving the agricultural heritage of the Hudson River Valley and produces a wide selection of premium-quality dairy products. Its milk, whole-milk, ice cream, half and half, heavy cream, yogurt and sour cream will all carry the Certified label. Consumers can find Hudson Valley Fresh products in nearly 100 locations in the Hudson Valley.
New York City
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is an award-winning, urban cheesemaker located in New York City’s Flatiron District. Its unique, glass-enclosed cheesemaking kitchen gives visitors the opportunity to watch the company’s centuries-old cheesemaking process as it happens. Using milk from four local farms, Beecher’s produces a variety of specialty cheeses that are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The addition of these incredible dairy processors to the Grown & Certified program not only supports hundreds of family-owned farms in nearly every region of the State, it also gives consumers an opportunity to easily identify New York’s world-class agricultural products that are made to a higher standard. Shoppers can feel good knowing the milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products made by these companies comes from farms and processing facilities that are committed to food safety and environmental sustainability.”
Keith Telaak, Senior Marketing Manager for Upstate Niagara Cooperative, said, “Our dairy farm families are proud to be part of New York’s agricultural community, and take great pride in being able to offer delicious and nutritious dairy products for their families, friends, and neighbors throughout the state. We encourage New York State consumers to support their local food producers by looking for products that feature the New York State Certified seal on their packaging.”
Carl Byrne, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Byrne Dairy, said, “Byrne Dairy is proud to join the New York State Grown & Certified Program. Having locally sourced, farm-fresh milk for over 84 years, we believe that the Certified label will give our producer partners the recognition they deserve.”
Neal Rea, Chairman of the Board of Agri-Mark, said, “We’re very excited for McCadam to be part of the NYS Grown & Certified program. More than half of the farm families in our co-operative are based in New York, including my family’s operation in Cambridge, NY. Our Chateaugay creamery, where McCadam cheese is made, is one of the longest continually operating cheese plants in the country and is well known for making some of the finest cheese in the world.”
“We are extremely proud of our family’s 115+ years of farming in the Saratoga region of New York State,” said Jan King, one of the family owners of King Brothers Dairy. “Our customers have come to rely on us for our premium crafted milk and dairy products. We are excited to become members of the NYS Grown & Certified program, which will help strengthen the bond we have formed directly with those who buy our products.”
Sam Simon, founder of Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy, said, “Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy believes that premium quality milk measured by objective standards is a value-added product and the farmers that produce this milk deserve to receive a sustainable price. Our farmers take great pride in the care of their cows and are true stewards of the land.”
Kurt Beecher Dammeier, Founder of Beecher’s Cheese, said, “We use only premium milk local to our cheesemaking kitchen because we strongly believe the freshness of the milk directly effects the flavor of our cheese. We’re fortunate that, in New York, there is a strong network of dairy farmers committed to producing quality milk and we’re proud to be a part of the New York State Grown & Certified Program.”
Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, “I know how hard our state’s dairy farmers and processors work to ensure agriculture—our state’s leading industry—continues to thrive. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ball for recognizing that by highlighting dairy products through the New York Grown and Certified Program, we can boost the largest sector of our state’s agriculture industry, as well as make it easier for consumers to find fresh, quality and nutritious food and drink produced locally.”
Assemblyman Bill Magee, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, said, “These six processors, already well known for top quality products and business practices, are now carrying the NYS Grown & Certified seal that guarantees locally sourced fresh foods that are produced with environmentally responsible procedures that aim for a higher standard. The seal lets you know that the dairy products you are buying are produced from New York State cows, right here in our own back yard.”
About New York State Grown & Certified
Launched by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, New York State Grown & Certified promotes New York’s agricultural producers. It assures consumers that the food they are buying is local and produced to a higher standard by requiring participating producers to adopt good agricultural practices and enroll in the Agricultural Environmental Management program.
New York State Grown & Certified’s marketing campaign includes on-product labels and promotional materials, such as a website, video and sales materials, to encourage program participation among producers and to educate retail, wholesale and institutional buyers on the value of the program.
There are currently 57 fruit and vegetable producers representing 33,000 acres of farmland in the State, and seven dairy processors representing more than 1,200 New York farms participating in the New York State Grown & Certified program.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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