Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski, Lisa Koumjian 518-457-0752

September 02, 2016

New York State Veterinarians and Inspectors Work to Maintain a Great Experience for Visitors at the Great New York State Fair

As the Fair enters its final weekend, Commissioner Richard A. Ball today highlighted the hard work of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets food and milk inspectors and veterinarians to ensure the health and safety of fairgoers and animals at The Great New York State Fair. Each year, more than three dozen inspectors, veterinarians, and veterinary technicians work around the clock during all 12 days of the Fair to help maintain a positive experience for all fairgoers, exhibitors, and their animals.

Commissioner Ball said, “We want fairgoers to have the best time ever at the newly transformed New York State Fair and part of that is the behind the scenes hard work of our inspectors and veterinarians, who do an incredible job protecting the health and wellness of everyone who comes to the Fair. They work tirelessly to make sure that fairgoers can continue to enjoy all of their favorite foods and exhibits year after year and I thank each one of them for their efforts.”

Enjoying delicious food is a highlight for many fairgoers. To make that possible, inspectors from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Food Safety and Inspection work closely with inspectors from the New York State Department of Health to review the approximately 200 food vendors located throughout the Fair. Together, these inspectors check that all sanitary regulations are met and being followed. Their inspections begin before the start of the Fair and continue throughout the entire 12-day event.

Inspectors from the Department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services work in shifts to ensure the Milk Bar remains a safe and enjoyable tradition for fairgoers. Working in teams of two, the first shift of inspectors begin their work around 5:30 a.m. and they remain on site until 3 p.m. when the second shift arrives. The second shift of inspectors work until midnight. The typical day for an inspector at the Milk Bar begins with an inspection of tanks and pipes for cleanliness. Tanks are cleaned and sanitized by inspectors at least once daily and also every time the tanks are emptied. On average, the process takes about two hours. 

The Milk Bar, located in the Dairy Products Building, serves the Fair’s traditional 25 cent cup of milk, to an average of 30,000 fairgoers per day throughout the 12-day Fair.  On an average day, the Milk Bar will serve 1,500 gallons of chocolate milk and 400 gallons of whole milk. 

This year, the Fair is once again home to thousands different animals including goats, sheep, llamas, pigs, poultry, cattle, horses, and many more that visit the Fair for competitions and exhibition.  Fifteen veterinarians and 11 veterinary technicians from the Department’s Division of Animal Industry are on hand throughout the Fair, including the State’s lead veterinarian and Division Director Dr. David Smith. The veterinarians check incoming animals, making sure they are healthy and have met all disease test requirements. Throughout the Fair, the State’s vets continuously check the animals for signs of livestock diseases and quickly act to isolate or remove any animals that may have become sick. The Department also partners with veterinarians from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, who are prepared to provide emergency treatment of animals at the Fair.

Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director said, “We have a tremendous team of highly skilled veterinarians and food inspectors who work night and day to keep our visitors safe. They have one of the most important jobs at the Fair and I am proud to recognize the hard work they do to make the Fair a success each and every year.”

About The Great New York State Fair

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016.  The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your GREAT!," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million revitalization plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, improves the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and provides greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate— the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.  Renderings can be viewed here

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2016 Press Releases