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

January 18, 2008

New York To Work Together With PA & VT on Dairy Issues

Three States to Collaborate Resources to Benefit Northeast Dairy Producers

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today re-signed an agreement with his counterparts from Pennsylvania and Vermont to work cooperatively in an effort to further enhance the dairy industries in all three states.

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, more than 16 percent of the nationís total milk supply.

"The dairy industries in New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania all share common markets, challenges and opportunities, and they have more to gain collectively than if we all go it alone," the Commissioner said. "Therefore, Iím pleased to renew this collaborative agreement with our partners in our neighboring states to ensure that the Northeast remains a major milk producing and processing region in the United States."

The memorandum of understanding was signed in 2006, and reaffirmed today by the heads of the state agriculture departments from the respective states. The new memorandum of understanding includes all that was agreed upon last year, plus two new action items, which encourage the group to reach out to other Northeast states and to combine resources in the nutrient management and renewable energy development arenas. Repeated areas of cooperation outlined in the agreement include:

- Coordinating the direction, goals and resources necessary to ensure a competitive and profitable dairy industry in the Northeast,

- Developing programs that focus on improving dairy profitability and productivity,

- Optimizing the intellectual talent serving the Northeast dairy industry,

- Marketing the region to dairy producers and processors outside of the Northeast,

- Researching diverse dairy business models to increase business profitability,

- Marketing the economic contributions and advantages of the dairy industry,

- Working together on areas of interest at the federal level.

The signing was held during a meeting of the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team, which was a direct result of the original memorandum of understanding. The Leadership Team, made up of various dairy production, processing and policy representatives, met in Oneonta on January 17 and 18 to discuss the Farm Bill, milk labeling, animal welfare and environmental stewardship issues.

The memorandum of understanding will be effective until terminated by any one of the three parties or their successors.

The economic multiplier factors for the dairy industry are significant. For every $1.00 spent by a dairy farm business, approximately $2.50 in wages and related business transactions is contributed to the local economy. Further, for every job created by a milk processing plant, an additional 4.7 jobs are supported in industries and sectors linked to dairy processing.

New York is the nationís third largest dairy state, generating $1.91 billion, over half of the Stateís total agricultural receipts. The average dairy farm in New York State is family owned and consists of 95 cows, producing an average of 18,639 pounds of milk per cow per year.

2008 Press Releases