Annual Tradition Highlights World-Class Dairy Products in New York State
Stewart’s Shops Honored with Gold for Best Fluid Milk, Upstate Farms Buffalo Earns Silver
Ice Cream Offered as a Category for the First Time This Year, Stewart’s Brings Home Gold for Chocolate and Flavored Ice Cream, Mikey Dubb’s Frozen Custard Earns Gold for Vanilla
Four Fat Fowl Named Grand Champion for Its St. Stephen Cheese
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the winners of the 2023 Dairy Products Competition. Stewart’s Shops was honored with gold as the state’s top-scoring milk, and Upstate Farms Buffalo earned silver. This year’s competition also included ice cream as a category for the first time ever, with Stewart’s bringing home the gold for best chocolate ice cream and best flavored ice cream, and Mikey Dubb’s Frozen Custard from New Rochelle earning gold for its vanilla. In addition, Four Fat Fowl Creamery from Stephentown was named Grand Champion for its St. Stephens cheese. A full list of the 2023 Dairy Products Competition winners is available here.
“Coming from a family of dairy farmers in Ireland, I am committed to continuing our historic support for New York’s dairy producers and processors,” Governor Hochul said. “Our dairy products are some of the finest in the world and these winners are a testament to our State - I encourage all New Yorkers to enjoy these delicious award-winning products.”
The Dairy Products Competition celebrates New York’s dairy industry and its finest dairy producers and processors from across the state with gold or silver honors, or an Award of Excellence. This year there were 197 entries across 26 categories, including fluid milk, various types of cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, dips, cottage cheese, and for the first time ever, ice cream.
Other highlights from the competition include:
- Stewart’s Processing also took home gold in the Flavored Milk Category, while Dygert Farms from Palatine Bridge won gold in the Chocolate Milk category.
- Weissmann Farms from Roscoe won gold in the Small Processors Fluid Milk category.
- HP Hood (Arkport, Vernon and Lafargeville plants) earned the most medals overall, with a total of 14. They received the gold in the Full-fat, Low-fat, and Fat-free Cottage Cheese categories, as well as in the Sour Cream, Buttermilk, Dairy Dips, and Plain Yogurt categories.
- Great Lakes Cheese from Adams won gold for its Cheddar, Aged Cheddar, and “Super” Aged Cheddar, earning a total of eight medals – ranking second highest overall in the competition.
Cheese classes were evaluated by 13 expert judges, including several representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, and Steve Funk from Nelson Jameson. 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 and ice cream portions of the competition.
The winners of this year’s competition will be honored, as has been tradition, during a special awards ceremony on Dairy Day at the Great New York State Fair, and a video presentation highlighting all the award-winning products of the 2023 Dairy Products Competition will be on display in the Dairy Products Building. Dairy Day takes place on Thursday, August 31 and includes milk tasting, a milkshake contest, a dairy day parade around Chevy Court, and more.
New York State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “As the state’s leading agricultural sector, there’s no doubt that New York dairy is something special. From award-winning milks to artisan cheeses and everything in between, New York State is home to some of the very best dairy products in the world. This annual tradition gives us the opportunity to highlight the best that our hardworking dairy farmers and processors have to offer. I congratulate all our winners and participants for their exemplary work feeding our communities and fueling our economy.”
New York State Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, “Here at the Great New York State Fair, we always look forward to highlighting New York dairy. Whether you’re stopping by the Milk Bar for a delicious, perfectly cold glass of milk, or tasting delicious cheese and ice cream from processors across the state, enjoying New York dairy is a tradition here. I congratulate all the winners of this year’s Dairy Products Competition and look forward to recognizing all our participants on Dairy Day at the Fair.”
State Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “As a cornerstone of our agricultural sector, New York dairy products demonstrate the remarkable craftsmanship and innovation of our local dairy farmers and processors, whose work continues to raise the bar for excellence nationwide. Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s competition for their outstanding efforts!”
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, “Dairy is certainly a superstar at the Great NYS Fair, from the iconic butter sculpture and Milk Bar, to the delicious maple ice cream. These awards are an opportunity to recognize NY’s world class dairy industry, and to thank all of our hardworking dairy farmers and producers. Congratulations to the winners and a special thank you to organizers for including ice cream as a category this year.”
Stewart’s Shops Senior Vice President Chad Kiesow said, “We are thrilled and honored to be receiving these awards. They are a testament to the dedication and passion from not only our skilled dairy and ice cream teams, but also our local dairy farmers who we want to acknowledge and thank for their contributions to earning these awards. We take great pride providing our customers fresh and local dairy products all year long, and our customers can feel good about buying their milk and ice cream from Stewart’s Shops knowing that they are receiving high quality products while supporting their local dairy farmers.”
Mikey Dubb’s Frozen Custard Owner Michael Weissman said, “I am incredibly proud that Mikey Dubb’s Frozen Custard has been selected as the first ever Ice Cream Competition winner for Vanilla Ice Cream at Dairy Day. As a lifelong New Yorker, it is an honor to be part of the thriving NYS dairy industry, and as a small business owner, a thrill to be recognized alongside all the other 2023 winners.”
Four Fat Fowl Operations and Finance Director Josie Madison said, “As a family business whose mission is to craft cheeses that we would want to eat ourselves, we are thrilled that St. Stephen has been recognized as the Grand Champion and CamemBertha as the silver winner in the artisan cheese category. We are tremendously grateful for our hard-working team that has helped make these awards possible and we are proud of what we have accomplished in our ten years in business. We continue to be committed to making the highest quality artisan cheeses that showcase the bounty of the Hudson Valley and its farm-fresh ingredients.”
Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ronald P. Lynch Dean Benjamin Houlton said, “What an exciting time for New York’s thriving dairy community. Our Food Science Extension team and the Milk Quality Improvement Program are thrilled to work in partnership with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to assess the quality, safety and sensory taste of iconic and innovative fluid milk and dairy products. This year’s entries showcase a variety of innovative New York dairy delights for all consumers to enjoy. Along with our tried-and-true awardees like Stewart’s and H.P. Hood, I’m excited to see the continuing growth of artisanal and small-scale producers—especially the addition of a New York frozen custard among the winners!”
The Dairy Industry in New York
New York’s dairy industry is a critical sector of the state’s economy and as its leading agricultural sector, dairy accounts for approximately one-half of New York’s total agricultural income. New York State has nearly 3,200 dairy farms that produce over 15 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation’s fifth largest dairy state. New York’s unique and talented dairy producers and processors provide significant contributions to New York’s agriculture industry, the economy, and to the health of our communities.
About the Great New York State Fair
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 fair runs August 23 to September 4, 2023.
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].