The HVADC Cultivator
HVADC Collaboration: Bethel Creamery
In December a six year collaborative initiative that Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) has been working on in Sullivan County came to fruition when Bethel Creamery cut the ribbon on its newly expanded organic kosher yogurt and milk operation. The project was a joint undertaking with the Sullivan County Division of Planning & Environmental Management, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, Sullivan County’s Grants, Attorney and Purchasing departments, Industrial Development Agency and Rural Economic Area Partnership Board and Sullivan County Farmland Protection Board.
In 2011, Sullivan County applied for and received an $186,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program to purchase dairy processing equipment. Bethel Creamery responded with a proposal which was used to gain an additional $100,000 in funding from the NYS Community Development Block Grant Small Business Program in 2014 to purchase materials, supplies, marketing and working capital. Bethel owners, the Franklin family had been producing kosher Pelleh Poultry products since the 1980s, and were ready to expand its creamery production.
Through the years, HVADC had assisted the Bethel project by supplying technical assistance through a dairy expert who helped Bethel determine what type of equipment that they would need and also helped them to source it. HVADC’s business consultant also assisted Bethel in developing the creamery’s business plan.
HVADC Executive Director Todd Erling participated in the December 21st ribbon cutting ceremony along with Sullivan County officials. Bethel owners, Bob, Naomi and son Eli, provided a tour of the facility and sampling of the dairy products. Future plans are to add cheese production and enhance the creamery’s branding and marketing.
The Bethel Creamery expansion is representative of the types of collaborative efforts that HVADC works on in partnership with other agencies and regional groups to help farmers and food producers enhance their operations. It is also illustrative that often some initiatives require a significant time line to become actualized – in this case six years – and require a long term commitment.
“This project created five new jobs in a rural, agricultural part of Sullivan County, and I’m thrilled with the result of this collaborative initiative to improve a small business,” said District 1 County Legislator Scott Samuelson, who represents the Town of Bethel on the Legislature.
“While we’re fortunate to have several large-scale development projects happening in the County, the Creamery’s success stands as an important demonstration of our commitment to ‘the little guy’ and of preserving our agricultural heritage,” affirmed District 4 County Legislator Catherine Owens, chair of the Legislature’s Agriculture and Sustainability Policy Committee.
For more information about how HVADC engages in partnerships to help farms and food producers enhance their operations, visit www.hvadc.org or call us at 518-432-5360.