North Country Dairy Viability Initiative

�Thriving Dairy Farms; The Cornerstone of a Strong Dairy Value Chain,� a project of the region wide North Country Dairy Viability Initiative, is intended to stabilize the dairy value chain, which directly and indirectly supports at least 6,000 jobs and $800 million in economic activity.

The project will specifically focus on the profitability of the region�s 1,630 dairy farms, which annually produce 2.2 billion pounds of milk and 19 percent of the state�s total milk supply. Several the eight cheese manufacturers in the region, which currently utilize over 5 million pounds of milk each day, have indicated concern about locating enough milk to meet growing product demand. 

The project has five expected outcomes:

� Identification of impediments to, and opportunities for, growth of the milk supply in northern New York and to meet the seasonal demands and quality standards of milk markets within and outside the region.

� Identification of interventions and actions that will result in farmers taking action to increase production of milk and to address other milk supply issues in Northern New York.

� Creation of educational and technical assistance programs that will assist farmers in their efforts to increase milk production in Northern New York.

� Increased success of families who depend on dairy faming for their livelihood.

� Establishment of a milk supply that is sufficient to the demands of all markets accessible, including those for fluid milk, manufacturing, new products and niche markets.

Representatives of Clinton, Essex, Franklin Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties are helping to guide this project. The project is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research Education and Education Service and Cornell University�s Economic Development Administration and the US Department of Commerce. 

Click here for the NCDVI Dairy Fact Sheet

Dairy Viability Project Manager Peggy Murray can be reached at