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News stories tagged with "cheese"

Co-op builds Amish milk houses

Last week, Heritage cheese plant in St. Lawrence County closed, leaving 65 Amish dairy farmers without a place to bring their milk. The dairy cooperative that makes Cabot and McCadam cheeses is stepping in to fill the void. Agrimark Co-op is building community milk houses in Amish country. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Heritage shutdown sheds light on Amish economy

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.  Go to full article

Ogdensburg acquires kosher cheese plant

The city of Ogdensburg has taken over ownership of a troubled kosher cheese plant. St. Lawrence Food Corporation, owned by Brooklyn-based Moshe Banayan, was $90,000 delinquent on its tax bill to the city. It also owes the St. Lawrence County IDA more than $300,000. Banayan filed for bankruptcy in April. The plant is still making kosher swiss, provolone, and other cheeses. 50 people are still working there. Ogdensburg manager Art Sciorra told David Sommerstein the city took over the facility to prevent Banayan from selling off the equipment.  Go to full article
The Boucher family at their booth at the Burlington farmers market.
The Boucher family at their booth at the Burlington farmers market.

Dairy farmers branch out

Yesterday, we heard from sociologist Douglas Harper, who wrote a book about North Country dairy farmers called "Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture". The title refers to the rural practice of neighbors pooling their labor to get big projects done, like harvesting or barn-raising. Harper will speak tomorrow night at SUNY Potsdam. In the North Country and nationwide, "changing works" has mostly ceded to big tractors and computerized milk parlors as dairy farms have ballooned in size. But Dan Boucher of Highgate, Vermont hasn't given the practice up. Boucher represents a still small, but growing group: dairy farmers who are resisting the "get big or get out" trend. Instead, they're getting smaller, investing in new products, and relying less on the price of milk. David Sommerstein has this profile.  Go to full article

Preview: Lowville Cream Cheese Festival

NCPR is media sponsor for the second annual Lowville Cream Cheese Festival this Saturday. The day's activities include the unveiling of the world's largest cheesecake and all-day music. Co-organizer Eric Virkler told Todd Moe that Lowville is known for cream cheese production at the local Kraft plant.  Go to full article

Cheese plant re-opens as Amish trust

The Heritage cheese plant in St. Lawrence County will re-open tomorrow after a one-month shutdown. The Amish farmers who sell their milk there will become owners in a unique arrangement. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

Amish Consider Future Of Cheese Plant

Amish dairy farmers in St. Lawrence County met yesterday to try to find a place to sell their milk. They'll reportedly seek an ownership share in Heritage Cheese House in Heuvelton. The cheese plant stopped taking milk from 95 Amish families Saturday. The company says low cheese prices have made the business unprofitable. The Watertown Daily Times reports this morning that the 71 Amish farmers who met yesterday were unanimous in their decision to form a trust to work with the plant. There's hope other buyers will also emerge in the effort to keep the plant open. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article
Mike Davis, Cornell Research Farm, Willsboro (Source:  Ben Stechschulte)
Mike Davis, Cornell Research Farm, Willsboro (Source: Ben Stechschulte)

"Three Farms" Portrays Adirondack Organic Movement

Tonight at the Keene Central School, the group Adirondack Harvest will host the screening of a new film called "Three Farms." The documentary focuses on the daily work and rituals on three organic farms, one in Keene Valley, another in Willsboro, and a third in Keeseville. Photographer Ben Stechschulte, who spends part of each year in the Adirondacks, made the film over a period of years. He spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Widrick with the mega-cow.
Widrick with the mega-cow.

Heard Up North: Lowville's "Mega-Cow"

The village of Lowville has a new landmark to greet visitors in 2006. The Lowville Producer's Dairy Co-op bought a ten-foot tall, 1000-pound ceramic cow last month. The mega-bovine now graces the front lawn of the coop's cheese store on Route 12. It cost $10,000, which raised eyebrows among some of the coop's farmers. But the coop's manager told David Sommerstein it was well worth it.  Go to full article

OSHA Fines Ogdensburg Cheesemaker

A kosher cheese maker in Ogdensburg is appealing $185,000 in fines levied by the U.S. Labor Department. Inspectors found serious safety and health hazard violations at Primo Foods' cheese plant. A Lewis County plant owned by the same company was cited for violations last year. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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