number of small dairies doubles in ny

posted December 15, 2010

So maybe there is money to be made in Dairy at the right scale and with the right skills.

Crop of Small Dairies Hits Market
By Melanie  Grayce West
The Wall Street Journal

Decades after most small dairies were forced out of business in New York, a new crop of boutique dairies is springing up in the state to produce fancy cheese, milk and yogurt.

Much of it is being devoured by “locavores,” people who try to eat locally produced food and are willing to pay up to get it. There’s also growing demand for “heritage cheese” produced by breeds of cows, goats and sheep not found in normal dairies.

There was an approximate doubling of small dairy plants in New York over the last two years, to around 80 statewide. Thirty-four plant permits have been issued this year.

A small plant is typically a family-owned farm that uses a small herd of animals, sometimes even a handful of cows, goats or sheep, to churn out premium dairy products.

“In 1977 I saw all of these small plants that were making products go out of business. Then, we only inspected large, corporate operations for a number of years,” said Dennis Moore, a dairy products specialist for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. “There is a huge resurgence of these small, artisanal cheese makers.”

read the full story HERE