Annual tradition highlights world-class dairy products in New York
√ Upstate Farms honored with gold for Best Fluid Milk; Stewart’s Earns silver; Old Chatham Creamery named Grand Champion for its camembert cheese
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced the winners of the 2021 dairy products competition in celebration of Dairy Day at The Great New York State Fair. Twelve cheese manufacturers were awarded this year, including Old Chatham Creamery, from Tompkins County, which earned the Grand Champion award for its camembert cheese. Upstate Farms was honored with gold for the state’s top-scoring milk, with Stewart’s earning silver.
Ball said, “Congratulations to our winners and to all of our participants for making the most delicious and nutritious dairy products for all of us to enjoy. New York’s dairy farmers and processors are among the best in the country, and their commitment to the agricultural community is reflected in the great milk, cheeses, sour creams, cottage cheeses and more they take such pride in producing. I am so honored to take part in the awards ceremony at the Great New York State Fair once again and highlight just some of the amazing products that use milk from our more than 3,600 dairy producers throughout the state.”
The Annual Dairy Day awarded 12 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 116 entries in the cheese categories.
Other highlights from the competition include:
√ Upstate Farms also won gold in the Flavored Milk category.
√ Stoltzfus Family Dairy, from Oneida County, took home gold in the Small Processors Fluid Milk category as well as the Chocolate Milk category.
√ Upstate Niagara earned the most medals overall, with a total of 19. It received the gold in the Flavored Milk, Dip, Buttermilk, Mozzarella, Ricotta and Sour Cream categories.
√ Great Lakes Cheese won gold for its Cheddar and Aged Cheddar, earning at a total of six medals.
√ HP Hood won gold for its Full Fat and Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and also earned the Award of Excellence for its Full Fat Cottage Cheese.
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 11 expert judges. This year, the chief judge was Alicia Heannings from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Milk Control.
A full list of winners will be available on the department’s website.
In addition to the dairy products competition, dairy attractions and exhibits will be featured during the State Fair in the Dairy Products Building. The popular Milk Bar continues to offer 25-cent cups of cold white or chocolate milk, supplied by NYS Grown & Certified processor Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc. This year, on the last two weekends of the State Fair, strawberry milk will make its debut at the Milk Bar. The famous butter sculpture is also on display in the Dairy Products Building at the State Fair. Fairgoers can also enjoy a variety of toppings on New York yogurt at the Milky Bun yogurt bar. They can also purchase a variety of New York cheese from across the state.
The Dairy Cow Birthing Center, located in the western area of the fairgrounds, gives fairgoers an opportunity to witness live births of baby calves. More than 100 farmers, veterinarians, business representatives and agricultural students volunteer to assist with the births and explain the process to the public. In addition, the Milking Parlor in the Dairy Cattle Barn is featuring live demonstrations, at 4:30 and 7 p.m. daily, to show how milk gets from farm to fridge.
Lawrence Webster, CEO of Upstate Niagara Cooperative, said, “Our nearly 300 farmer-owners and our dedicated employees collectively put their heart and soul into everything they do, and we are extremely proud that the New York State Fair officials have recognized their efforts. We look forward to continuing to provide fresh, safe, delicious milk and dairy products to nourish our communities.”
Dave and Sally Galton, owners of Old Chatham Creamery, said, “We are excited to share this award with our team of exceptional herdsman and artisan cheesemakers that exemplify the high-quality standards of Old Chatham Creamery. What an honor be recognized as the leading New York state farm and creamery.”
Dairy Industry in New York
New York is a top producer of dairy products in the country, and dairy is the state’s No. 1 agricultural sector. Currently, New York has nearly 3,600 dairy farms producing more than 15 billion pounds of milk, approximately 7% of the country’s total milk supply. New York is also a leading producer in the country of cottage cheese and creamed cheese. Total cheese production also continues to grow, accounting for more than 1 billion pounds last year.
Great New York State Fair
Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair is America’s third-largest state fair. It showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of the “CNY Rising” strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. Fair attendance is up more than 46% since the beginning of more than $120 million in investments, with 1.33 million people attending the State Fair in 2019. The 2021 event runs from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Find the Great New York State Fair on its website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and enjoy photos on Flickr. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair to [email protected].