Annual State Fair Tradition Highlights World-Class Dairy Products in New York State
Yancey’s Fancy of Western New York Named Grand Champion
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the winners of the 2016 Dairy Products Competition in celebration of the 40th annual Dairy Day at The Great New York State Fair. Twenty-six manufacturers were awarded this year, including Yancey’s Fancy cheese company of Western New York, which earned the Grand Champion award after scoring 99 out of 100 possible points for its Chastinet Sharp and Snappy Asiago-Style Cheese. The state’s top-scoring milk belongs to Battenkill Valley Creamery of Salem, the only entry in the competition to earn a perfect score of 100.
“New York dairy products are second to none and this competition, underscores the depth and variety of our milk producers and dairy manufacturers,” said Governor Cuomo. “I congratulate this year’s winners, and encourage consumers here at home and across the globe to sample some of our new award-winning state favorites and see for themselves the very best New York has to offer.”
Promoting New York’s dairy industry has long been a central component of the State Fair, which this year is celebrating a transformation. Governor Cuomo last week kicked off the State Fair by touring some of the $50 million in Fairgrounds improvements to build the site in a state-of-the-art, year-round destination. Following the State’s investment, the first four days of this year’s State Fair has attracted the second highest attendance in Fair History. The Fairgrounds boasts a new Main Gate, more open spaces throughout the grounds, greater seating and shade, a larger Midway, and free cell phone charging stations throughout. The annual dairy competition complements these enhancements by offering visitors an opportunity to experience the diversity of the state’s agricultural industries.
The 40th Annual Dairy Day awarded 26 processors and manufacturers from across the state either gold or silver honors. Four others earned Awards of Excellence.
Other highlights from the competition include:
- Upstate Niagara Cooperative earned seven medals, earning the most medals overall. It won gold in the sour cream, buttermilk, and dairy dips categories.
- In the cheese categories, McCadam Cheese Co. took five out of six medals for its current, aged, and super-aged cheddar cheeses
- HP Hood’s three plants took five out of six medals in three cottage cheese categories.
- Argyle Cheese Co. won gold in the flavored yogurt category with its Chocolate Greek Yogurt.
Entries were submitted for 22 categories, including fluid milk, sour cream, and cottage cheese. The entries are evaluated by eleven expert judges. This year, the Chief Judge was Charles Lindberg from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Milk Control.
A full list of winners in all 22 categories is available here.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “New York State dairy products are among the world’s best and the extremely high scores in this competition prove it. I congratulate everyone throughout our great dairy industry for another year of world-class products.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York’s dairy products lead the nation and it’s wonderful to see our homegrown companies and the dairies that supply them honored for their excellence. From our commercial manufacturers to some brand new artisan creators, New Yorkers benefit from having the best of the best right here in our State. I am looking forward to sampling many of these award-winners and finding new favorites.”
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “The New York State Fair is proud to showcase our state’s agricultural manufacturers and provide a platform to share the results of these annual competitions with nearly one million visitors. I congratulate our top winners and all of those who entered their products into the contest.”
In addition to the Dairy Products Competition, dairy attractions and exhibits will be featured during all twelve days of the Fair in the Dairy Products Building. The popular Milk Bar will continue to offer 25 cent cups of cold white or chocolate milk, and back for a third year, a cheese sculptor will be carving images out of a block of New York State cheddar. The YO2GO Yogurt Bar will also mark its third year at the Fair.
Bruce W. Krupke, Chairperson, New York State Dairy Task Force said, "Today is an exciting day for our dairy processors and for all of New York State as we celebrate our number one agricultural sector during Dairy Day at the NYS Fair. The annual Dairy Products Competition spotlights the delicious, healthy dairy products our companies work so hard to make and we're proud to pay recognize them for their dedication to delivering only the best products."
Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East said, “The Dairy Products Competition is a reminder that all of the great dairy products made in New York begin with the nutritious milk produced by the state’s 5,000 dairy farm families. What an opportune time to thank them for their hard work and contribution to New York agriculture, as well as their local communities.”
Mark Mosco, Master Cheese Maker for Yancey's Fancy said, "We appreciate the award, which is a testament to this great cheese that our boss created in memory of his mentor. We are glad it is catching on and that it has been recognized as one of the best.”
Seth McEachron, Owner of Battenkill Valley Creamery said, "To get a perfect score is an honor to all of the employees who work on the farm and at the creamer. We have a great team who puts out a high quality product and we are honored to be awarded here today."
Dean Kathryn Boor of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Cornell's Milk Quality Improvement Program works hand in hand with our partners in the dairy industry to ensure that New York State products are fresh and tasty. We congratulate all of this year’s companies who entered into the competition.”
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 on agricultural sector. Currently, New York has nearly 5,000 dairy farms with a total of more than 600,000 dairy cows. In 2015, 14.1 billion pounds of milk was produced, approximately seven percent of the country’s total milk supply, making New York the fourth largest dairy producing state in the nation. New York is also a leading producer in the country of sour cream, cottage cheese, and creamed cheese. Total cheese production, excluding cottage cheeses, also continues to grow, accounting for more than 800 million pounds last year.
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 25 to September 5, 2016. 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 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million revitalization plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, improves the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and provides greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate — the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation. Renderings can be viewed here.
In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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