Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) participated June 8 in the annual Dairy Day celebration in Albany, an event honoring the farming families who operate an estimated 6,400 dairy farms in the Empire State. June is National Dairy Month, and New York ranks third in the United States in total production of milk, cheeses and other products. The industry adds an estimated $4.5 billion every year to our state’s economy, creating jobs, promoting eco-friendly tourism, and encouraging consumers to shop and buy locally. Fitzpatrick was joined by farmers, dairy industry representatives and advocates, and vendors from around New York offering samples of their products.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Markets, dairy generates over half of New York’s agricultural receipts - more than $2 billion - and provides some of the highest economic multipliers in the state. A Cornell University study reveals that for every new job created on a dairy farm, an additional 1.24 jobs are created in the community and for every dollar of output, an additional $.83 is generated. Dairy processing provides an additional 4.72 jobs for every job created in a plant, the highest multiplier in the state, and generates an additional $1.26 to the community for every dollar of product sold. Yet, the majority of dairy operations remain true to their small-town roots: these family-run farms own an average of only 100 cows.
“With New York State facing its longest recession since the Great Depression, we must do all we can to support the job creators in our region, including dairies, farms and creameries,” said Fitzpatrick. “Dairy farmers help to boost Long Island’s economy, keep jobs here in the Empire State, and encourage New Yorkers to shop and eat locally. I am committed to fighting for dairy farmers and the private-sector economic growth their industry continues to provide.”