NY Dept. of Ag celebrates National Cheese Day, kicks off dairy month scavenger hunt

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, National Cheese Day, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball kicked off Dairy Month with a visit to Ideal Dairy Farms and Argyle Cheese Farmer in Hudson Falls. Ball and state elected officials first visited Argyle Cheese Farmer, a NYS Grown and Certified farm, which purchased and opened a new processing plant and retail store in partnership with Ideal Dairy in 2020.

The new 11,000 square foot facility is located in the former Lewis Supermarket building. On a weekly basis, the facility has the capacity to process 100 pounds of milk, 900 pounds of cheese, 1,700 pounds of whole milk yogurt, 900 pounds of Greek yogurt, and 1,000 pounds of buttermilk – all using milk sourced exclusively from Ideal Dairy.

The Commissioner also toured the sixth generation dairy farm, which, despite facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, expanded its operations in 2020 by partnering with Argyle Cheese Farmer. As of January, Ideal Dairy Farms resumed processing and is, for the first time in 34 years, offering dairy products made with Just A2 milk directly to the local community.

A woman makes cheese at Argyle Cheese Farmer
(New York State Department of Agriculture)

“Our ability to expand, create jobs, and continue to provide high quality milk to our communities is due in large part to the hard-working employees who we are fortunate to have by our side on the farm every day,” John Dickinson, Ideal Dairy Farms owner and Northeast Dairy Producers Association Board Chair said. “A passion for cow care, environmental stewardship, and teamwork is not easy to come by, and we are thankful for every employee who helps us get nutritious milk and dairy products to families across the state. As I raise a glass of milk to the Ideal Dairy Farms team, I encourage New Yorkers to not only celebrate Dairy Month in June, but year-round.”

During the tours, the Commissioner highlighted several actions the Department has taken to support the New York dairy industry this year, including Nourish New York, Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection and Taste NY. Additionally, Ball discussed the department’s continued work to advance the sector through the Milk Marketing Advisory Council, the Dairy Promotion Order Board, the recently formed Dairy Think Tank, and more.

During Dairy Month, the Department will highlight the New York dairy industry across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A statewide Grown and Certified Dairy Scavenger Hunt will be launched as a part of this campaign, giving New Yorkers a chance to discover facts about some of the state’s dairy farms and processors, with $50 Taste NY gift cards going to the winners.  Details will be announced on Monday, June 7 on the Department’s social media channels.

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