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Heritage shutdown sheds light on Amish economy

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One of St. Lawrence County's best known cheese brands is about to disappear. Heritage cheeses and cheese curds are big sellers at local stores and quick-marts. But they didn't sell well enough to keep Heritage out of the red. The plant in Heuvelton was losing $3,000 a week. It owes almost $200,000 in public loans. Heritage Cheese House will stop accepting milk Friday night. Fifteen people will lose their jobs. All the milk comes from Amish farms. Amish dairy farmers can't join regular milk co-ops because they don't use on-site refrigeration. The number of farms selling milk to Heritage dwindled in recent years, from more than a hundred to 65. Lowell McAllister is chairman of the Heuvelton Community Irrevocable Trust, which manages the plant for the Amish. The plant was founded in 1994. It closed briefly in 2006. He told Martha Foley Friday that this time, the shutdown is final.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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