The HVADC Cultivator
Meet HVADC Consultant: Dennis Moore
Following a long career in state agency administration, Dennis Moore, a former New York Ag & Markets Dairy Inspector, has been working with HVADC to help New York’s dairy farmers ride the wave of the shifting markets by including value-added processing, such as yogurt and self-bottling.
Moore is one of the few remaining New York dairy experts in the state, having served as the former Eastern New York Dairy Inspector. He works as one of HVADC’s many field experts to assist and advise dairy businesses on how to find profit in the drastically shifting dairy industry landscape.
Moore grew up on a small dairy farm with less than 60 cows on the Canadian border. He studied Dairy and Food Science in an Associate’s degree program at SUNY-Canton a program that is no longer offered as a two-year course of study, now being a four-year course of study. He then began his work in 1977 as a dairy products inspector, which later changed in title to Dairy Products Specialist, and worked in that capacity for 35 years. Moore inspected both small and large dairy plants, bottling plants, cheese plants and other various dairy processing plants. By 1996 he rose to become a certified state rating officer, conducting federal inspections through the US Food and Drug Administration; basically, no fluid milk, milk powder or cultured milk product could cross state lines into north eastern New York without Moore’s inspection.
Moore believes he has inspected more than 10,000 unique facilities in his tenure and visited upwards 6000 dairy farms—citing that he likely has visited about half of the dairy farms in the entire state. Today, he says, less than half the dairy farms he has visited remain.
Moore recalled his most memorable inspection actually occurred in Athens—not Athens, New York, as one might expect-- but rather Athens, Greece. “They were shipping this new kind of dairy product called ‘Greek Yogurt’,” he relatedThat, was Fage yogurt. Moore said he was deeply impressed with their technology. After retirement, Moore returned to Fage to work with the company as a consultant.
Moore said his favorite clients these days are the small operations. “They come to HVADC to make value-added products, or they want to expand—this is what I did for the state, helping small operations gets bigger and create a niche product,” said Moore. “It is a continuation of what I did for the state. I enjoy seeing these farmers get a value-added product. They construct a plant and have a product that they can get more out of. There has been a market created here over the last few years that people know where it came from… a local product.” Moore said local products are what’s most in demand in the marketplace right now.
“[Moore] is an outstanding example of the type of consultant HVADC works with,” said Mary Ann Johnson, Deputy Director of HVADC. “He is passionate about the industry, respectful of the entrepreneur’s ideas and budget and can devise creative solutions to each farm’s situation. We are fortunate to have [Moore] working in partnership with HVADC to bring high level quality services to our clients.”
One such local dairy business with whom Moore worked recently through HVADC was Stap Dairy Farm, in Pine Bush. Owner Bob Stap said that Moore’s knowledge-base was essential for his the planning of his 100-cow dairy farm. “[Moore] has been around the dairy industry long enough,” said Stap. “He told us what he could and couldn’t do. He helped with the plan; the walls and structure.”
Moore added that whole-milk yogurt and whole-milk products are making a comeback, and products such as cream-line dairy is a unique way for a dairy farmer to offer a desired value to their product. Recently he worked with Bethel Creamery to help them expand operations, as well as Argyle Cheese, both HVADC clients. “My work with HVADC is continuation of what I did…, there is a lot of satisfaction seeing a small business compete with a larger processor.”
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Photo Sources: Dennis Moore; US Department of Agriculture