By Waldy Diez SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Yogurt is now the official snack of New York state, after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Wednesday. The state is the nation’s top producer of yogurt, with 741 million pounds produced in 2013.
More yogurt is going to mean more milk. More milk is going to mean more profit for one local dairy farm.
“Anything that can be done out there to increase the demand for milk and milk products can help us because the more we can sell, the higher the price is for it,” said Chuck Luchsinger, owner of Silver Spring Farm.
Luchsinger has sold all of his raw, unprocessed milk to Byrne Dairy and has been for the past 14 years. He says the pay program is regulated by the Federal Milk Marketing Order and Byrne Dairy gives him “fair and equitable premiums for high quality milk.” Luchsinger has already seen a difference in the increased demand for milk.
“It’s been one of the factors that contributed to the increase in price we’re getting for milk,” he said.
Despite the increased demand for milk, Luchsinger isn’t going to hire any more workers. Silver Spring farm has been a family-run farm for 100 years; they only have a few farm hands to help them. He is able to do this because of technology and efficiency.
“Technology and mechanization over the years has allowed us to milk more cows with fewer people,” he said.
The farm uses a milking machine that attaches to the cow’s udder, draws the milk out and travels up a tube to a receiver jar. The milk is cooled to about 60 degrees and moved to a bulk milk tank. The machine isn’t the only efficient part of the milking process. The farm grows and stores crops year-round to help keep costs down.
“Through the spring, summer and fall, we try to grow the best quality crops that we can: hay, alfalfa and corn,” Luchsinger said. “We store them so the cows will have something to eat year round.”