GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The New York State Fair will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Dairy Day at the New York State Fair on Thursday, August 29th. The day will include activities to educate guests about New York State’s largest agricultural sector.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Dairy is New York State’s largest agricultural sector and the tradition of Dairy Day at the Great New York State Fair goes back more than 40 years. Dairy Day is always a favorite among fairgoers. It gives our dairy farmers the opportunity to showcase the wide array of amazing dairy products made right here in New York State — from a simple and refreshing, cold 25-cent glass of milk, to cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and more.”
Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “We invite fairgoers to join in the many fun and educational events that we host on Dairy Day – from the parade featuring our Dairy Princesses to the Undeniably Dairy milkshake contest, as well as our famous Butter Sculpture, our milk bar, and our Dairy Cow Birthing Center. Visitors can learn about all aspects of dairy, as we celebrate New York State’s largest agricultural sector and enjoy the many delicious foods and beverages that our dairy farmers and processors make every day.”
Dairy Day will feature a variety of activities to showcase the State’s dairy industry, beginning at 9 a.m. with the Recognition Awards & Awards Breakfast in the Empire Room. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. As part of the ceremony, Dairy of Distinction Awards and the Commissioner’s PRO-DAIRY Service Awards will be presented. Winners of the New York State Fair Dairy Products Competition will also be announced. Winning products will be showcased in the display cooler next to the Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Products Building.
Following the awards breakfast, guests can enjoy family fun and educational activities, including the local celebrity Milkshake Contest to see who makes the best shake, at 10:30 a.m. at the Chevy Court Pavilion.
Across from the Chevy Court Pavilion, fairgoers can enjoy a variety of dairy products at the Milky Bun bar and see the famous Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Products Building. The Fair’s 51st Annual Butter Sculpture, created by American Dairy Association North East and sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets Inc., will be revealed on August 20, the day before the Fair opens. It will be on display in the Dairy Products Building during all 13 days of the Fair.
Fairgoers visiting the Dairy Products Building will also be able to sample and purchase a variety of cheese from across the State, including mac and cheese, as well as products from Great Lakes and McCadam. Fairgoers will also have the chance to meet the State and county Dairy Princesses and buy a cup of perfectly chilled white or chocolate milk at the Milk Bar.
Visitors can witness live births of baby calves in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center, where more than 100 farmers, veterinarians, business representatives and agricultural students volunteer to assist with the births and explain the process to the public.
Dairy cows will strut their stuff in the Tractor Supply Dairy Cattle Building and the day’s events will wrap up with the Dairy Day Parade. The event begins at 6 p.m. and features floats, the Dairy Princesses, tractors, and milk trucks.
Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East, said, “We’re pleased to take part in Dairy Day, honoring the State’s hardworking dairy farmers who ensure an ample supply of fresh, wholesome milk. We encourage fairgoers to come to the Dairy Products Building to visit with Dairy Princesses, check out the must-see annual Butter Sculpture, and participate in special contests and activities – all brought to you by dairy farmers.”
Nathan Pistner, president of the New York State Cheese Manufacturers Association, said, “The New York State Fair Dairy Day is a terrific venue to highlight the best cheese in the State. The awards ceremony provides the platform to recognize the countless hours the producers spend producing the quality products that we do. It’s also a chance to give recognition to the farms for providing high-quality milk and our dedicated employees for their hard work.”
The Dairy Industry in New York
New York State has nearly 4,000 dairy farms that produce nearly 15 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation’s fourth-largest dairy state. The dairy industry is the State’s largest agricultural sector, contributing significantly to the State’s economy by generating nearly half of the State’s total agricultural receipts, and providing some of the highest economic multipliers in the State.