ALBANY — The State Legislature celebrated Dairy Day in New York on May 26th, an annual observance leading into June Dairy Month, a tradition established in 1937. Dairy Day shines a light on the top producing sector of New York agriculture and the skilled work of New York’s dairy farmers and workers along the entire value chain. New York is home to over 4,000 dairy farms, caring for more than 600,000 cows that collectively produce over 14.8 billion pounds of milk annually. The industry supports close to 63,000 jobs and provides a $14 billion impact on New York’s economy.
“As the State’s largest agricultural sector, our dairy industry is the cornerstone of New York’s ag economy,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Dairy is more than a product–it’s part of our state’s heritage. Dairy Day in New York is an important opportunity for us to honor the hard work, innovation, and stewardship stemming from our small, local dairies while putting the unique challenges facing our farming families front and center so that we can work with current and future generations to keep this leading industry strong in New York.”
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee said, “Dairy Day at the Capitol is our annual opportunity to recognize the important role dairy plays in NY’s food economy. The dairy industry is a vital part of the food supply chain and played an especially important role during the past year. The Nourish NY program alone moved thousands of pounds of milk, yogurt and other products to families in need across the state. Understanding the ongoing challenges facing the dairy industry, will improve our ability to assist them.”
Nationally, New York ranks first for a variety of dairy products, including yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream, third in milk production and the number of dairy cows, and fourth in cheese manufacturing.
In honor of Dairy Day, Hinchey and Lupardo co-hosted a virtual celebration alongside partners from the Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Northeast Dairy Producers Association, and New York Farm Bureau.
–The Office of New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey
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