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Take a moment to reflect on our dairy business

Monday, June 09, 2014 - Updated: 5:48 AM

As the state's leading agricultural sector, dairy accounts for approximately half of New York's total agricultural income. New York is the third leading producer of milk in the country and also the largest producer of yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese in the nation. Which is why taking time each year to designate June as Dairy Month makes sense. Especially in our neck of the woods.

New York is the third largest milk-producing state in the nation and accounts for 6.7 percent of national production. In 2013, there were more than 5,000 dairy farms in New York and 610,000 dairy cows across the state, with the average dairy farm had 121 cows producing 2.67 million pounds of milk per year. From 2010 to 2013, New York saw a 6.1 percent increase of pounds of milk per cow, compared to a 3.2 percent increase at the national level.

New York is a net supplier of milk to the Northeast region, with 2.8 billion pounds of milk shipped from farms to out of state plants in New England, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2013. The state has also experienced a 16.4 percent increase in dairy-related employment from 2010 to 2013 (16,466 to 19,160 total jobs).

New York State's dairy industry had an economic output of $14.8 billion in 2011, according to a 2014 study published by Professor Todd Schmit of Cornell University. The report also noted that for each extra dollar of dairy industry output, $.42 is generated in additional economic activity.

"Dairy farmers across New York deserve a large pat on the back this month for the great things happening on their farms," New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said. "We have seen great strides in milk production, strong animal and environmental care, and an improved record of work place safety. All of these things are reflected in increased consumer demand for New York dairy products that are second to none in the world. New York Farm Bureau appreciates the state's recognition of the effort during June Dairy Month."

Got milk? We'd say we do.

It's a way of life in these parts, and, historically, a major contributor to the Montgomery County economy. Every now and then, it makes sense to remember that.

     

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