New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball has announced the winners of the 2022 Dairy Products Competition in celebration of Dairy Day at The Great New York State Fair. Stewart’s was honored with gold for the state’s top-scoring milk, and Dygert Farms earned silver. In addition, Cabot Creamery Cooperative was named Grand Champion for its Horseradish Cheddar.
Commissioner Ball said, “New York is known for its fantastic dairy products—from its leading yogurts to its artisan cheeses and everything in between. Our dairy farmers and processors are among the best in the country and take great pride in bringing their products to consumers across the country. Congratulations to our winners and all our participants; it’s truly an honor to take part in the Dairy Day ceremony at the Great New York State Fair and recognize the hard work and dedication of our dairy community.”
Interim Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, “Dairy Day is an unbelievably fun day that gives us an opportunity to discover the very best milkshake concoctions, try all kinds of cheeses and ice cream, and learn more about milk production. The Dairy Day awards ceremony gives us a platform to celebrate the dairy industry by recognizing the people who work so hard to bring us the very best dairy products around.”
The Annual Dairy Day awarded cheese processors and manufacturers from across
the state, in addition to its fluid milk producers, with gold or silver honors, or an Award of Excellence. This year there were 152 entries across all categories.
Other highlights from the competition include:
- Weissman Farms also won gold in the Flavored Milk category.
- King Brothers Dairy took home gold in the Small Processors Fluid Milk category as well as the Chocolate Milk category and the Flavored Yogurt category.
- HP Hood (Arkport, Vernon and Lafargeville plants) earned the most medals overall, with a total of 16. They received the gold in the Cottage Cheese- Full-fat, Low-fat Cottage Cheese, and Fat-free Cottage Cheese categories, and silver in the Sour Cream, Dairy Dips and Plain Yogurt categories.
- Great Lakes Cheese won gold for its Cheddar and Aged Cheddar, earning at a total of six medals.
- Old Chatham Creamery won gold for its Plain Yogurt and Flavored Natural Cheese.Middle Road Creamery won gold for its Feta in the Goat/Sheep Soft Cheese category.
Entries were submitted for 25 categories, including fluid milk, various types of cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, dips, and cottage cheese. Cheese classes were evaluated by eight expert judges. This year, the Chief Judge was Valerie Catlin from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Milk Control. Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Milk Quality Improvement Program judged the fluid milk portion of the competition.
Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake said, “My grandfather and his brother started this business as a dairy company over 100 years ago. We take great pride in the quality of our dairy products and providing fresh and local milk to our customers. This award would not be possible without our hard-working dairy farmers and experienced dairy team.”
Agrimark Board Chairman Cricket Jacquier said, “Our Chateaugay Team is thrilled to bring home the Grand Champion honors today. This award is a reflection of our commitment to producing high quality dairy products. That collaboration starts at the farm level with our 600 farm families and it is continued by our dedicated team of employees. That mindset of pursuing excellence is poured into all of the delicious dairy products that we make every day.”
Benjamin Houlton, the college’s Ronald P. Lynch Dean, said, “Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is proud to partner with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to assess the quality, safety and sensory taste of New York’s innovative dairy products. I am delighted to see the breadth of entries this year, which reflect the growing diversity and quality of artisanal dairy products that continue to support New York state’s position as a leader.”
As part of the Dairy Products Competition awards ceremony, which took place this morning at the New York State Fair, a new video was launched to promote the dairy industry and educate consumers about the industries products in the marketplace. The video was provided by Jeb & Co, American Dairy Association North East, NYS Agriculture in the Classroom, Cornell University, NYS Cheesemakers, and VentureFuel and was funded by the New York State dairy industry.
In addition to the Dairy Products Competition, New York’s dairy industry is featured during the full 13-day run at the Fair and in the Dairy Products Building. The Milk Bar, operated this year by Cornell Cooperative Extension, continues to offer 25 cent cups of perfectly cold white or chocolate milk, supplied by NYS Grown & Certified processor Upstate Farms. Strawberry milk will be on tap this year at the Milk Bar the last weekend of the Fair, Saturday, September 3 through Labor Day, Monday, September 5. The famous Butter Sculpture is also on display in the Dairy Products Building.
Fairgoers visiting the Dairy Products Building will have many options to choose from, ranging from a variety of dairy products at the Milky Bun Bar, to samples of cheeses from across New York State and state Grown & Certified processors. Attendees will also have opportunities to meet the State and county Dairy Ambassadors at the “Reset Yourself with Dairy” exhibit. The Dairy Products Building is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
More than 200 farmers, veterinarians, business representatives and agricultural students volunteer to assist with the births at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center. The exhibit also offers calves for petting and educational exhibits about the dairy industry. The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The Dairy Cattle Barn, which houses all the dairy cattle showed at the Fair, is also open to visitors for the duration of the Fair. Here, fairgoers may observe cows being milked and learn how milk gets from cow to glass. The Dairy Cattle Barn is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Labor Day, all barns and buildings close at 9 p.m.
New this year, the Fair is featuring an interactive social media exercise where they can see what they’d look like as a Butter Sculpture. By scanning a QR code – which is accessible on signage in the Dairy Products Building, and here, on the 2022 State Fair Map – fairgoers can cue up a “Butterizer” filter, which will superimpose their face onto a bust of butter. Fairgoers will see what they look like on display and will be able to share the information on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags, #NYSFair and #ButterizeMe. The Butterizer feature works on a mobile device anywhere there is internet – you don’t necessarily have to be on the Fairgrounds to participate in the fun.
The Dairy Industry in New York
New York is a top producer of dairy products in the country, and dairy is the State’s number one agricultural sector. Currently, New York has nearly 3,600 dairy farms producing more than15 billion pounds of milk, approximately seven percent of the country’s total milk supply. New York is also a leading producer in the country of yogurt, cottage cheese and creamed cheese. Total cheese production also continues to grow, accounting for more than one billion pounds last year.
About the Great New York State Fair
The Fair continues through Monday, September 5. Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of the state’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. It is oldest state fair in the United States, and the third largest fair in the country.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, and follow the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Guests are invited to see photos from the Fair on Flickr and ideas are always welcome. New Yorkers are encouraged to send suggestions via email to [email protected].