Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

August 31, 2017

The Great New York State Fair Announces 27 Winners of the Annual Dairy Products Competition

Old Chatham Creamery of the Capital Region Named Grand Champion

The Great New York State Fair announced the winners of the 2017 Dairy Products Competition in celebration of its 41st annual Dairy Day.  Twenty-seven manufacturers were awarded this year, including Old Chatham Creamery of the Capital Region, which earned the Grand Champion award for its Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert Cheese.  The state’s top-scoring milk belongs to Stewart’s Processing, who is also a New York State Grown & Certified processor. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are proud to honor New York’s dairy processors and our farms that supply them for their excellence. We know that New York is home to some of the best—from commercial manufacturers to artisan creators—and this competition helps us promote them to even more consumers.  Congratulations to all the award winners and fairgoers should look for their unique offerings at the Dairy Products Building.”

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “The New York State Fair has the incredible opportunity to showcase our state’s agricultural manufacturers and producers to its more than 1 million visitors. I congratulate the top winners of New York’s very best, delicious dairy products and all of those who entered their products into the contest.”

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "The New York State Fair is the perfect place to showcase the very best of New York, including its outstanding dairy products. Congratulations to the winners who were honored at the ceremony at the Fair.  We encourage fairgoers to support New York's agricultural and dairy industry by visiting the Dairy Products Building during their time at the Fair."

Promoting New York’s dairy industry has long been a central component of the State Fair, which this year celebrated the completion of Phase 1 of Governor Cuomo’s transformation plan, new exhibits and exciting first-time programming. Governor Cuomo last week kicked off the 2017 New York State Fair by touring the improvements, which included the new signature skyride, the Broadway Skyliner, a new home for the popular and renovated New York State Police exhibit, and the rebuilding of the Turtle Mound in the Indian Village.  The Governor also announced a brand-new 133,000 square foot exposition center to be built in 2018.  The annual dairy competition complements these enhancements by offering visitors an opportunity to experience the diversity of the state’s agricultural industries.

During the Annual Dairy Day awards ceremony at the Great New York State Fair today, 27 processors and manufacturers from across the state were recognized with either Gold, Silver or an Award of Excellence for their products. 

Other highlights from the competition include:

  • HP Hood Arkport won six medals, earning the most medals overall. It won Gold in the dairy dips category and Silver in dairy dips, buttermilk, nonfat and low-fat cottage cheese.
  • In the Cheddar Cheese categories, McCadam Cheese Co., a New York State Grown & Certified processor, took Gold for both its Mild New York Cheddar and Sharp New York Cheddar.
  • Upstate Niagara, also a New York State Grown & Certified processor, won Gold and Silver in the Sour Cream category.
  • Argyle Cheese Co. won Gold in the Plain Yogurt category and Nounos Creamery from Long Island won Gold in the flavored yogurt category with its low-fat Coconut Mango variety.

Entries were submitted for 23 categories, including fluid milk, sour cream, and cottage cheese. The entries are evaluated by eleven expert judges. This year, the Chief Judge was Heather Spraker from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Milk Control. 

A full list of winners in all 23 categories is available here

In addition to the Dairy Products Competition, dairy attractions and exhibits are featured during all 13 days of the Fair in the Dairy Products Building. The popular Milk Bar continues to offer 25 cent cups of cold white or chocolate milk, and back for a fourth year, a cheese sculptor will be carving images out of a block of New York State cheddar. The much-anticipated butter sculpture is also on display in the Dairy Products Building. 

Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East said, “The Dairy Products Competition affirms that great dairy products begin with nutritious milk produced by the 4,600 dairy farm families of New York State. We thank the state’s dairy farmers for their hard work and continuous dedication to their local communities and New York Agriculture.”

Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake said, “This is a great time to share our appreciation for the family farms that always provide us fresh, quality milk, as well as commend the hard work of our own employees. Together, we can proudly provide Stewart’s customers with great tasting, local milk, that is again voted the best in the state.”

Allyson Brennan, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Old Chatham Creamery, said, “The Old Chatham Creamery Team is honored and excited to accept the 2017 Dairy Products Competition Grand Champion Ribbon.  We are committed to producing high quality cheese and yogurt in the Great State of New York.”

Dean Kathryn Boor of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Cornell's Milk Quality Improvement Program works hand in hand with our partners in the dairy industry to ensure that New York State products are fresh and tasty. We congratulate all of this year’s companies who entered into the competition.”

The Dairy Industry in New York

New York is a top producer of dairy products in the country, and dairy is the State’s number on agricultural sector. Currently, New York has nearly 5,000 dairy farms with a total of more than 620,000 dairy cows. In 2016, 14.8 billion pounds of milk was produced, approximately seven percent of the country’s total milk supply, making New York the third largest dairy producing state in the nation. New York is also a leading producer in the country of yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and creamed cheese. Total cheese production, excluding cottage cheeses, also continues to grow, accounting for more than 800 million pounds last year.

About the Great New York State Fair

The $50 million phase one of Governor Cuomo's State Fair revitalization plan resulted in an expanded and more profitable Midway, including a new signature skyride, the Broadway Skyliner, an eye-catching new Main Gate, a new home for the popular and renovated New York State Police exhibit, and the rebuilding of the Turtle Mound in the Indian Village. A $70 million second phase will begin after the Fair, resulting in a 133,000-square foot flexible Exposition Center and major reconstruction of the Fair's largest parking lot.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 to September 4, 2017. 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 home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. 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, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2017 Press Releases