Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,I,C-Pulaski), joined colleagues, agriculture representatives and members of New Yorkâ€™s dairy industry at the annual Dairy Day reception in Albany. The event was held in recognition of June as National Dairy Month.
â€œNew York is a leader in dairy production,â€ said Barclay. â€œIâ€™m pleased to be here today to honor and celebrate dairy farming in our state, and in particular, the men and women whose hard work makes New Yorkâ€™s number one industry thrives year after year.â€
Agriculture is the backbone of New Yorkâ€™s economyâ€”with an estimated 6,400 dairy farms currently in operation, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. New York also ranks third in the nation when it comes to dairy production. Total milk production in New York during 2009 was approximately 12.4 billion pounds. New York also provides the nation with abundant supplies of milk-products such as award-winning ice cream, cheese, yogurt and butter.
â€œMaintaining a successful agricultural business is difficult in any economy but this economy has been particularly difficult. Unfortunately, weâ€™ve heard of several dairy farmers closing due to plummeting milk prices in 2009,â€ said Barclay. â€œI am committed to working toward new ways to protect the future of farming, preserve our farmland and strengthen the agriculture industry. Today, we celebrate the dairy farmers and retailers who work so hard to provide us all with quality dairy products.â€
Jim Buelow, Vice-President of the Northeast Dairy Foods Association said, â€œThere are over 100 dairy product processing and manufacturing plants in New York State providing thousands of quality jobs. We salute the dairy farmers who work hard to produce the milk and retailers who market dairy products to our valued consumers all year long as we recognize June is Dairy Month.â€
Others in attendance at the reception included Assemblyman William Magee (D,I-Madison, Oneida, Otsego), Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee; Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee; Senator Cathy Young (R,C,I-Olean), Ranker on the Senate Agriculture Committee; Jerry Cosgrove, NYS Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets; Stephen Coye, NYS Grange; Eric Ooms, NYS Farm Bureau; Jim Buelow, Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Inc.; Audrey Donahoe, American Dairy Association and Dairy Council; NYS Dairy Princesses; and a calf courtesy of local farmer Jason Graziano.
Vendors featured at todayâ€™s event included The American Dairy Association and Dairy Council; Cabot Creamery Cooperative; Dairylea Cooperative Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America, Northeast Council; Garelick Farms; Hillcrest Dairy; H.P. Hood; Mohawk Dairy; Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Inc.; Ronnybrook Farm Dairy; Stewarts Shops and Upstate Niagara Cooperative.