During our New York State Dairy Tour, we had the pleasure of visiting the Cayuga Milk Ingredients Plant, a state-of-the-art plant that open in June of 2014. This 101 million dollar establishment was amazing to view that day.
When we arrived, we were given a briefing about what the plant accomplishes on a daily basis, who they serve, and how they are providing milk and milk products worldwide. We could assume that this milk plant only processes, well, milk. That’s not the case. As a worldwide distributor, CMI sends milk protein and other components of milk. As a mom, it was pretty interesting to see how milk powder, like baby formula, is created. Since the plant removes water from the milk, they are able to ship milk powder to third world countries. That milk powder can last for up to 18 months!
The Cayuga Milk Plant was very interesting to me because it was developed by 8 dairy farmers. Cayuga Marketing was created due to the milk market in 1986. They wanted to bargain for higher milk prices, while still providing the best milk products. By 2012, the farmers knew that a local processing plant would be best to help them accomplish their goals.
Fun fact: the land that the plant is located on, used to belong to Farmer Jon’s Mother’s family! He and his wife Julie are part of the farmer collective that started Cayuga Milk Plant.
While we learned quite a bit during the tour, we were unable to take any pictures. I can tell you, the science that they use within the plant is extraordinary. My science nerd of a husband was in his element, asking questions and viewing things that he thought he would never see, especially in a milk plant. I just thought it was cool that they water they remove from the milk is used to clean the plant. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
After seeing what milk processing entails, and how it effects communities from all around the world, I have a new appreciation for dairy farmers.
Photo credit: Katie Becker Photography
I was invited on a #NYSDairyTour2014 press tour by the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council. The American Dairy Association & Dairy Council provided all meals, travel stipends and accommodations. While we were invited, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.