New York State Dairy Exhibits, Inc. (DEI), an all dairy industry volunteer organization that previously partnered with the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY to support the Dairy Products Building, announced it has awarded grants totaling $44,000 to groups and organizations to promote the state’s dairy industry.
In 2016, after 65 years of operating the activities, concessions and exhibits in the Dairy Products Building at the New York State Fair, DEI severed their relationship with the State due primarily to disagreements in their working relationship surrounding the price for a cup of milk. Despite steadily increasing operating costs, the State Fair did not allow them to increase the price and cover operating costs, thus forcing DEI out of managing the building during the Fair.
At the DEI board meeting in November, directors unanimously voted to dissolve the organization at the end of 2018, and dispose of the remaining funds. Requests for proposals were received and reviewed based on criteria established to further dairy product promotion, nutritional awareness and increased consumption of dairy products, or the furtherment of agricultural and dairy-related education.
The money for the grants came from the sale of equipment that was owned and operated by DEI at the Dairy Products Building.
“It is very unfortunate to see this group come to an end after years of hard work and service at the State Fair,” said Bruce W. Krupke, Secretary of DEI. “Despite our dissolution, we are very happy to award grants to these groups and organizations to help continue, carry on, and promote the great work of the dairy industry in New York.” The following organizations received funding from New York State Dairy Exhibits Inc.;
Cornell University Dairy Products Sensory Evaluation Team – $5,000.00. This award will assist the team to further their education and dairy product understanding.
Dairy Council Health Foundation – $5,000.00. This award will assist local schools to further promote dairy product nutrition and consumption through the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program. Jefferson County Local Development Corporation – $5,000.00. The award will assist in the creation of a video promoting and highlighting the availability of milk production and manufacturing in northern New York State.
New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Education, Inc. – $5,000.00. This award will help create educational materials, video and information to further help educate consumers about where dairy products come from and how they play an important part of overall nutrition. New York State Grange Educational and Cultural Foundations, Inc. – $5,000.00. This award will help create a traveling consumer information exhibit to help enhance public nutrition awareness and consumption of dairy products.
PRO-DAIRY, NYS Junior Dairy Leader Program – $4,000.00. This award will help connect the next generation of dairy producers through education, hands on workshops and experiences. New York State Cheese Manufacturer’s Association, Inc. – $5,000.00. This grant will help fund the association’s annual student scholarship program which encourages them to explore the dairy related science and processing careers.
Forestville Central School District – $2,500.00. This award will be issued to the Forestville Central School District to create a 5 year scholarship program in the name and memorial of Walt Butcher who was a leader of NYS Dairy Exhibits, Inc. and instrumental in the group’s success for over 40 years to give to a student pursuing education in agriculture or dairy.