Aug 16, 2018
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – Dairy farms are integral to agriculture in Sullivan County, directly contributing more than $7 million to the local economy. Six Sullivan County dairy farms received news that their fluid milk contracts with Marcus Dairy would end in 2018.
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – Dairy farms are integral to agriculture in Sullivan County, directly contributing more than $7 million to the local economy. Six Sullivan County dairy farms received news that their fluid milk contracts with Marcus Dairy would end in 2018. In response, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC), who provides support to local agriculture, has been fielding inquiries and identifying short and long-term solutions.
In collaboration with the farms and partners like Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC), Sullivan County Funding Corporation (SCFC), Agricultural and Community Development Services LLC, Sullivan County Government, and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther’s office, a new opportunity for the dairy industry has emerged.
Ma & Pa Creamery LLC, a proposed grower controlled dairy plant, has been approved through a $93,489.63 grant acquired from Sullivan County Government, through the New York State Office of Community Renewal, to fund the development of the business planning, engineering studies, and research required to move the project forward. The grant also funds a milk truck for shipping to high value markets.
“At this time, Ma & Pa Creamery is still in its conception,” said Colleen Monaghan, CCESC executive director. “We’re working with partners to conduct market feasibility analyses, develop a business plan, and set the groundwork for this exciting opportunity for farmers across the county.”The dairy plant is exploring the opportunity to process, market, and distribute niche dairy products including kosher, high A2 casein, organic, and grass-fed milk products.
“Dairy farmers are dealing with many forces that are beyond their control, and we are excited to see that this cohesive group is exploring options that put their farms financial futures more squarely in their own hands and that HVADC can bring its expertise to the collaborative efforts,” said Todd Erling, HVADC executive director.
“Our dairy farms have been the economic backbone of this county since its inception 200 years ago, and we’re not about to forget that in the 21st century,” said Sullivan County District 4 Legislator Catherine Owens, chair of the Legislature’s Agriculture and Sustainability Policy Committee. “Our dairy farmers provide jobs, preserve open space, patronize many local businesses, and produce products of high quality. They support the community in so many ways, and we must support them in return.”
“The dairy farmers of Sullivan County are some of the hardest working people I know. Their farms have been around for generations—they’re our friends and neighbors. I’ll continue to do everything I can to support them and their industry,” said NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. Sullivan County Funding Corporation initiated and funded the $22,000 contract with Agricultural and Community Development Services LLC in response to the June dairy situation.
The Sullivan County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan was adopted in 2014. The plan specifically states that a priority of the County is to work with Sullivan County dairy farmers and establish niche dairy and value-added dairy products to support the dairy industry in the county.
For more information on Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, visit www.sullivancce.org.
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