Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

May 23, 2007

Commissioner Announces Dairy Policy Forum on June 1

Forum Will Address National Dairy Policy Issues and Farm Bill Recommendations

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today invited dairy producers to participate in a Dairy Policy Forum, hosted by the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team (NEDLT), in conjunction with the state agriculture departments from New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. The Forum will be held on June 1, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Best Western in Albany.

"The viability of the dairy industry in the Northeast depends largely on the policy decisions that will be made at the federal level," the Commissioner said. "Therefore, we are offering producers the opportunity to hear what national dairy leaders are saying and recommending, in hopes of identifying key policies that the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team can advocate for in a collective manner from each state’s vantage point. I strongly encourage all dairy producers who are interested in how the federal policy will impact their operations in the future to attend this forum."

National dairy policy leaders and influencers have been invited to address key issues and recommendations being considered for dairy policy in the 2007 Farm Bill. Representatives from the National Milk Producers Federation, International Dairy Foods Association, and Northeast Council of Cooperatives have all been invited to participate, as well as Farm Bureau and Farm Credit representatives from New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Each invited organization will be given the opportunity to share their recommendations and concerns regarding dairy farm policy in a discussion panel session. Each session will be followed by a question and answer session to allow audience members the opportunity to better understand the issues.

Anyone with an interest in dairy policy is invited to attend the Dairy Policy Forum on Friday, June 1, 2007. To register for the Forum, contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-9905. Registration is free of charge. Registrations can also be faxed to 717-705-2342 or e-mailed to

The NEDLT was initiated by a memorandum of understanding signed by the three state agriculture departments in June 2006 to establish a vision and promote profitability for the region’s dairy industry. To learn more about NEDLT, log onto the Center for Dairy Excellence’s Web site at

New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont make up one of the three major milk producing regions in the United States. Collectively, the three states produce over 25 billion pounds of milk annually, nearly 15 percent of the nation’s total milk supply.

New York State has 6,000 commercial dairy farms with nearly 640,000 dairy cows that produce 12 billion pounds of milk. New York’s 100 dairy processing plants use a quarter of the State’s milk production for fluid consumption, while the remainder is used for processed dairy products. Last year, New York produced nearly 700 million pounds of cheese (not counting 184 million pounds of cottage cheese), 16 million pounds of butter, 237 million pounds of yogurt and 30 million gallons of ice cream.

New York is the nation’s third largest dairy state, generating $1.91 billion, over half of the State’s total agricultural receipts. The average dairy farm in New York State is family owned and consists of 100 cows, producing an average of 18,879 pounds of milk per cow per year.

2007 Press Releases