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News stories tagged with "413dairy"

An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris

Amish farmers partner with Agri-Mark

Most of the North Country is losing population, and losing farms. But there's one group that keeps growing: Old Order Amish. They're drawn to the St. Lawrence Valley by the area's cheap, available farmland.

They Amish live an agrarian lifestyle that's more 19th century than 21st century. But in order to support their communities and their culture, the Amish have had to find a place in the local economy, including the dairy industry and an unlikely partnership with Agri-Mark.  Go to full article
Sandy and Aaron Stauffer with their herd. Photo: Julie Grant
Sandy and Aaron Stauffer with their herd. Photo: Julie Grant

Why milk containers send mixed messages

When you go to the supermarket dairy aisle, there are so many milks to choose from: different brands, fat contents, and prices. One thing they all have in common is a label that says something like "our farmers pledge they do not inject their cows with artificial growth hormone." The containers also state that there's no difference in the milk from cows with or without those hormones.

So what's going on here? Why are our milk containers sending mixed messages? And what does it mean for North Country dairy farms that use growth hormones on their cows?  Go to full article
A worker checks finished yogurt cups at the North Country Dairy in North Lawrence. Photo: Courtesy Upstate Niagara Cooperative.
A worker checks finished yogurt cups at the North Country Dairy in North Lawrence. Photo: Courtesy Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

Milk culture: touring the North Country yogurt plant

A couple of years ago, things looked bad for dairy processing in North Lawrence. Healthy Food Holdings was shutting down its Breyer's yogurt plant, and laying off more than 100 workers.

But within weeks, the plant was quietly purchased by the Upstate Niagara Cooperative. The Buffalo-based dairy processor renamed the plant the North Country Dairy. It says yogurt is on an upward trend in New York State, and the Cooperative wants to be part of that.

Many food manufacturers guard trade secrets tightly, and won't allow visitors. Upstate Niagara wouldn't allow the North Country plant manager to talk on tape for a story. But he did take me on a full tour of the facility.  Go to full article
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MilkNotJails?fref=ts">MNJ Facebook page</a>, used by permission
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: MNJ Facebook page, used by permission

What if NY invested more in dairy farms and less in prisons?

This week we've been looking at the fortunes of the North Country's dairy industry and some of the hurdles faced by farmers and processors.

Over the last few months, our Prison Time Media Project has also been looking at the way prisons shape communities and the local economy in the North Country.

There are more than a dozen state and Federal prisons in the region, along with eleven county jails. That makes corrections work one of our top employers.

One activist group based in Brooklyn thinks these two issues -- prison jobs and the dairy industry -- should be linked in people's minds, as we think about ways to grow the rural economy. That group's called "Milk Not Jails."  Go to full article
A tale of two dairy farmers. Mike Kiechle, Philadelphia, says expanding his herd is too much of a risk. Photo: David Sommerstein
A tale of two dairy farmers. Mike Kiechle, Philadelphia, says expanding his herd is too much of a risk. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will the Greek yogurt boom help dairy farmers?

You might have been surprised last summer to hear politicians walking around and talking about--yogurt. Governor Andrew Cuomo held a Yogurt Summit at the Capitol in Albany, where he said the explosion of the Greek yogurt industry in New York is a once-in-a-generation moment. "This is one of the best private sector market opportunities that Upstate New York has had in 30, 40 years," procliamed Cuomo. "I don't know when we get another one. I really, really don't. And that entrepreneurial spirit is when you see an opportunity, grab it."

New York has invested millions of dollars in tax breaks into new and expanding yogurt plants. Cuomo wants to ease environmental rules to encourage 200 cow dairy farms to become 300 cow dairy farms and make more milk.

Experts say New York farmers will have to boost milk production by 15 percent, or two billion pounds each year, to keep up with demand.

So does New York have a milk shortage? And are farmers stepping up it fill it?

The answers lie in cream cheese, Old McDonald, and something called the Chobani Paradox.  Go to full article
A worker checks finished yogurt cups at the North Country Dairy in North Lawrence. Photo: Courtesy Upstate Niagara Cooperative.
A worker checks finished yogurt cups at the North Country Dairy in North Lawrence. Photo: Courtesy Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

Milk culture: touring the North Country yogurt plant

A couple of years ago, things looked bad for dairy processing in North Lawrence. Healthy Food Holdings was shutting down its Breyer's yogurt plant, and laying off more than 100 workers.

But within weeks, the plant was quietly purchased by the Upstate Niagara Cooperative. The Buffalo-based dairy processor renamed the plant the North Country Dairy. It says yogurt is on an upward trend in New York State, and the Cooperative wants to be part of that.

Many food manufacturers guard trade secrets tightly, and won't allow visitors. Upstate Niagara wouldn't allow the North Country plant manager to talk on tape for a story. But he did take me on a full tour of the facility.  Go to full article

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