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News stories tagged with "yogurt"

Alpina's shiny new Greek yogurt plant is right across the industrial park from another new yogurt plant. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Alpina's shiny new Greek yogurt plant is right across the industrial park from another new yogurt plant. Photo: David Sommerstein.

How the 'Silicon Valley of Yogurt' is reshaping dairy farming

It's been about a year since Governor Cuomo convened his Yogurt Summit. He urged the state's dairy farmers to ramp up to meet the growing demand for milk from the booming Greek yogurt industry.

New York has eclipsed California as the number one yogurt producer in the country. And there are no signs of the growth slowing down.

David Sommerstein went to western New York to visit one of the brand new Greek yogurt plants that have opened recently to see how they're reshaping New York dairy.  Go to full article
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will the Greek yogurt boom help dairy farmers?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced New York will be one of four states in a test program to include Greek yogurt in school lunches.

State officials praised the news - as a new way to induce kids to eat their protein, and as a way to continue to fuel the Greek yogurt boom for New York dairy farmers.

New York has invested millions of dollars in tax breaks into new and expanding yogurt plants. Governor Andrew Cuomo eased 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%, or 2 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?
David Sommerstein reports the answers lie in cream cheese, Old McDonald, and something called the Chobani Paradox.  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
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
Photo: Nora Flaherty
Photo: Nora Flaherty

Two new programs New York hopes will help dairy farmers

Governor Cuomo announced two new programs to help dairy farmers grow alongside the booming Greek yogurt business in New York.  Go to full article

Syracuse company looks to get in on Greek Yogurt boom

The yogurt industry in Upstate New York is getting attention as a bright spot in the region's lackluster economy. Byrne Dairy, based in Syracuse, is looking to get in on the trend.  Go to full article
Photo: chobani.com
Photo: chobani.com

Inside New York's Greek yogurt boom

The buzz around last week's "Yogurt Summit" had a lot of people ask questions. Why was Greek yogurt such a big deal and why was Governor Cuomo spending political capital on it?

It turns out Greek-style yogurt now accounts for about a quarter of all yogurt sales in the U.S. And much of it is made right here in upstate New York because we're close to the yogurt-eating masses on the East coast. It's a low-tech industry that's having a big economic impact.  Go to full article

North Country farmers praise 'yogurt summit'

Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted a "yogurt summit'' Wednesday in Albany, to talk with farmers and manufacturers about ways the state can help boost New York's share of the growing trade. Making yogurt has become big business in upstate New York in recent years.

Those yogurt plants that are the focus of the summit are in western and central New York. But North Country dairy farmers would still benefit from growth in that industry. Jay Matteson is Jefferson County's agricultural coordinator. He told David Sommerstein the more dairy plants in the region, the better.  Go to full article

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