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New York: A Dairy Cheesy State

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

New York has ranked among the top milk and dairy product producing states nationwide for decades. It’s little wonder we have so many places to enjoy milk, cheese and other dairy items.

Get your dairy fix while enjoying a unique experience visiting these dairy venues this season.

Finger Lakes

Muranda Cheese Company in Waterloo represents one of the state’s farmstead cheesemaking operations, with the cheese cave housed in the basement of a renovated dairy barn that neighbors the herd’s barn. On the entry-level floor, peruse samples of the handmade, small-batch Muranda cheese, available in dozens of varieties and flavors so you can try before you buy. The gift shop also features a bevy of local goods and gifts. Check social media for updates on special events.

Lively Run Goat Dairy in Interlaken operates a farm and creamery not far from Cayuga Lake. After a scenic drive on Route 96, enjoy a cheese tasting, try goat yoga, feed the goats and tour the farm. The farm store sells local goods, gifts and of course goat cheese.

Farther south, Engelbert Farms in Nichols operates a certified organic dairy, beef, pork veal and vegetable farm. The folksy farm store and creamery includes all of these goods, as well as other local farms’ items and shelf-stable items like
gluten-free flours.

The fourth and fifth generations work at Sunset View Creamery in Odessa. The farm creamery recently built a new store on the farm to sell its small-batch artisan cheese. Sunset also hosts the Finger Lakes Cheese Festival the fourth Saturday in July (July 22), which offers demonstrations, tastings, food and live entertainment.

Capital Region

King Brothers Dairy in Schuylerville operates a full-service, year-round ice cream parlor and farm store with King Brothers milk for sale. The farm controls the entire process from cow to carton or cone. Choose from among 70 homemade hard ice cream flavors, as well as homemade soft serve, ice cream sundaes, and milkshakes. The farm store also regular milk and chocolate milk in plastic or glass containers along with many other local goods.

Western New York

At Hoover’s Dairy in Sanborn, visitors can buy milk in glass bottles and shop the farm store for other local goods made in Niagara County. Hoover’s has been in business since 1920. Don’t miss the strawberry milk, a flavor not often perfected among flavored milks.

Even older is Pittsford Farms Dairy, which was founded in 1888 and represents one of the oldest family-owned dairy business in New York still in operation. Pittsford Farms’ chocolate milk has been lauded as the state’s best. The farm store also sells more than 70 flavors of homemade ice cream by the cone or by the quart. Seasonal flavors include peppermint and pumpkin. The items served at the in-house bakery and café complement the farm’s milk.

Central New York

Trinity Valley Dairy in East Homer has milked cows for a century and creates products like cheese curds in several flavors and home-baked goods. It’s also one of the few dairies that sells non homogenized milk. Although pasteurized, skipping homogenization means the cream rises to the top, so customers should shake the jug before serving. The farm store sells numerous other locally made goods and the farm is open for tours by reservation.

North Country

Country Cousins Farm represents one of the few raw milk dairies in the state. The small, self-serve farm store includes the farm’s own raw milk, eggs and beef, along with local honey, maple syrup, and homemade soap.