Sept. 9 2019 11:24 AM

Variety of products, from string cheese to (of course) Bison Dip, take top honors at event celebrating 43rd Annual Dairy Day

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

With nine awards, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, the Buffalo-based food and beverage producer and distributor, was among the top winners at the 2019 Dairy Products Competition, held at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse. Presenter Richard Ball, Commissioner of Agriculture for the New York State Department of Agriculture, was on hand at the New York State Fair Dairy Day breakfast on August 29th.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative consists of 340 member-owned farms across the state. It was one of just 17 companies to receive Gold awards, four of which were for Bison®’s Buffalo Ranch Dip, Upstate Farms® Ricotta Cheese, Low-Moisture Part-Skim String Cheese and 5% Milkfat Greek Yogurt. Upstate Farms® Organic Whole Milk Yogurt scored a Silver win, and Awards of Excellence went to Bison® 1% Milkfat Large Curd Cottage Cheese, Lowfat Buttermilk, Whole Milk String Cheese and 2% Milkfat Greek Yogurt coconut flavor.

Eight judges from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, Vivolac and Wegmans graded the 243 entries from 44 exhibitors, giving out just 70 awards. Most of the 26 categories had one Gold, Silver and Award of Excellence (unless there was a scoring tie or limited number of entries per category).

“Some of the winning entries were separated by just halves of a percentage, so competition was definitely fierce,” said Mark Serling, Sr. Director of Sales, Marketing, and R&D for Upstate Niagara Cooperative. “Our member-owners take great pride in taking care of their cows, and it shows. With just two days between the farm and fridge, Upstate Niagara customers are guaranteed to have the freshest and most delicious dairy products.”

According to the New York State Fair, New York’s dairy industry is the third largest in the country for production, and is the state’s top agricultural sector. New York has almost 4,000 dairy farms housing 623,000 dairy cows.

For more information about Upstate Niagara Cooperative, including the Upstate Farms and Bison brands, visit


A cooperative of over 340 family-owned farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is a food and beverage company that has offered innovative, award winning, high quality dairy products since 1965. These product offerings include milk, flavored milk beverages, yogurt, dip, sour cream, cheese, and ice cream mix products marketed under the Upstate Farms®, Bison®, Intense Milk® and Valley Farms® brands.