Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Assembly Minority Conference Hosts Annual Dairy Day Reception
Event offers lawmakers, residents a "taste" of New York's top industry

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and other members of the Minority Conference today joined state agriculture representatives and members of New York's dairy industry at the annual Dairy Day reception in Albany. The event, which has become an Assembly Minority tradition, was held in recognition of June as "National Dairy Month."

"Our Assembly Minority Conference's Dairy Day celebration has become a very popular event," Tedisco said. "What better way to recognize New York's hard-working dairy farmers, and the vital role they play in our state's economy, than by bringing them together to showcase their high-quality products."

Agriculture is the backbone of New York's economy -- with an estimated 6,400 dairy farms currently in operation, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. New York also ranks third in the nation when it comes to dairy production. Milk sales alone account for one-half of the total agricultural receipts in New York. In fact, milk sales this past year have brought in $1.4 billion to the state. But milk isn't the only dairy product being churned out -New York also provides the nation with abundant and unique supplies of ice cream, yogurt and butter.

"One of the most important, if not greatest assets New York State has to offer is its Agriculture industry," said Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (R-Guilford) Chair of the Agriculture, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Minority Task Force and the Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Agriculture Committee. "As a former dairy farmer, I know the importance of highlighting our local farms and the excellent products they provide. I encourage people to sample what New York has to offer and buy locally next time they stroll down the dairy aisle."

Others in attendance at the reception included Senator Cathy Young (R,C-Olean), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee; Assemblyman William Magee (D,I-Madison, Oneida, Otsego), Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee; Patrick Hooker, NYS Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets; Oliver Orton, NYS Grange; John Lincoln, NYS Farm Bureau; Bruce Krupke, New York State Dairy Foods Inc.; NYS Dairy Princesses ; and a calf courtesy of local farmer Jason Graziano.

Vendors featured at today's event included Stewart's Shops; HP Hood; Garelick Farms; The Ice Cream Man; Upstate Niagara Cooperative; F. Cappiello Dairy Products; Ronnybrook Farms; Mercer's Dairy, American Dairy Association and Dairy Council; NYS Dairy Foods Incorporated; and Pride of New York.

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