SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The 2017 Great New York State Fair will celebrate the 41st anniversary of Dairy Day with new events and opportunities for fairgoers to enjoy high-quality dairy products, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today. Held Thursday, August 31, 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. New this year, guests will have an opportunity to win gift baskets filled with New York dairy products by visiting popular dairy attractions and answering trivia questions. In addition, the Fair is partnering with two New York State Certified processors to bring top-notch, local dairy products to the fairgrounds, including a New York State Fair-branded cheese. In 2016, more than 82,000 people visited the Fair on Dairy Day.
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Dairy Day is a great opportunity to recognize the hard work of our dairy farmers who make delicious products. We are excited to put the industry on display at the Fair and highlight their many contributions to agriculture. I encourage our guests to stop at the Dairy Products Building, Dairy Cow Birthing Center, and join us at the many special activities on Dairy Day as we celebrate our farmers and processors across the State.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are fortunate in New York to have superior dairy products, and Dairy Day is a great time to enjoy some of the best that the State has to offer. We look forward to educating fairgoers about the importance of our dairy industry and the thousands of farm families who bring us nutritious, high-quality milk, cheese, yogurt and so much more.”
For the first time, guests can enter a drawing to win Taste NY dairy gift baskets by answering trivia questions when they visit three popular dairy attractions on Dairy Day. To participate, guests can pick up a copy of the questions at any of the Fair’s six Guest Relations locations. They can find the answers by visiting the Milk Bar, Cheese Booth, and Yo2GO Yogurt Bar. When a guest has completed the questions, they can drop off their answers at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center where they will be entered to win. Three winners will be selected at the conclusion of Dairy Day.
Both the Milk Bar and Cheese Booth will be offering delicious, high-quality dairy products made by two New York State Certified Dairy processors—Byrne Dairy and McCadam Cheese. Byrne Dairy, a fourth generation, family-owned dairy processor and distributor, will supply milk for the Milk Bar, one of the Fair’s longest-standing traditions. The Milk Bar is being sponsored by Tully’s Good Times and New York’s official beverage will continue to be sold for 25 cents per cup. Last year, 398,059 cups of white and chocolate milk were sold. Fairgoers will also have the opportunity to sample and purchase award-winning McCadam Cheese at the Cheese Booth. McCadam will also be unveiling a NYS Fair-branded cheese. For the fourth year, a cheese sculptor will also be carving images out of a block of New York State white cheddar at the Cheese Booth on select days. The sculptures are being sponsored by the New York State Cheese Manufacturers Association.
In addition, the YO2GO Yogurt Bar will mark its fourth anniversary at the Fair, making it easy for fairgoers to enjoy New York’s official state snack— fresh New York regular and Greek-style yogurt with a choice of 15 fresh toppings. The 49th Annual Butter Sculpture, created by American Dairy Association North East, will be sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets. The sculpture will be revealed on August 22, the day before the Fair opens, and will be on display throughout the Fair. All of these exhibits are located in the Dairy Products Building and open during all 13 days of the Fair.
Dairy Day will also feature a variety of activities to showcase the State’s dairy industry, beginning with the Recognition Awards & Awards Breakfast at 9 a.m. in the Empire Room, with registration starting 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. In addition, 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. The “Big Cheese” Auction will immediately follow and be led by auctioneer and Chairman of the New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee Bill Magee. This year, the auction will be held in the Empire Room. Guests can bid on blocks of New York State cheese and enjoy samples that will be handed out by dairy princesses.
The festivities continue with a Milkshake Contest at 10:30 a.m. in the Chevy Court Pavilion, where local celebrities will compete to see who makes the best shake. The day will end with the Dairy Day Parade, beginning at 6 p.m. in Chevy Court, which features floats, dairy princesses, tractors and milk trucks.
“We’re pleased to take part in Dairy Day, honoring the state’s hard-working dairy farm families who ensure an ample supply of fresh, wholesome milk,” said Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East,“Dairy Princesses will be out in full force on the Fairgrounds judging the media milkshake contest, visiting the cow barn, participating in the evening parade, and interacting with fairgoers at their own booth in the Dairy Products Building. Feel free to ask them questions about dairy products and dairy farmers. While there, be sure to check out the American Dairy Association Butter Sculpture, brought to you by dairy farmers – it’s a ‘must see’ for fairgoers!”
Tom Eastham, president of New York State Cheese Manufacturers Association, said, “Dairy Day is a great way to celebrate our farms and manufacturers who supply and produce the best milk and dairy products in the nation. The NYS Cheese Manufacturers Association is proud to support the promotion of New York’s dairy industry by sponsoring the popular cheese sculptures, which give fairgoers a unique opportunity to learn more about one of the State’s most wholesome and delicious products.”
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 23 to September 4, 2017. 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 us on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter and 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 email@example.com.
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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