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Agri-Mark Invests $30 Million To Expand Chateaugay, New York, Cheese Plant

Agri-Mark, a dairy farmer cooperative, will invest $30 million to upgrade and expand its cheese plant in Chateaugay, New York. The company plans to save the jobs of about 106 associates.

The cooperative, which bought the plant 13 years ago, will be able to renovate its 110,641 square foot McCadam plant, with assistance from a $6 million state grant. The company plans to reconfigure the plant and install new cheese vats and equipment to keep it competitive.

Chairman of Agri-Mark Neal Rea Board of Directors and dairy farmer from Cambridge, New York said, “Our farmers are making a substantial investment in our cheese plant in Chateaugay because we believe that the New York dairy industry has a strong future, and our farm families are part of that future. We realize that our facility is one of the economic engines in the North Country and by undertaking this project we are letting everyone in Chateaugay and the surrounding communities know that we are here to stay and the jobs and benefits we bring are also here to stay. We would like to thank everyone involved with helping us receive this important funding.”

Empire State Development will support the dairy co-op with up to $6 million in funding, including $4 million in Economic Transformation Program funds to retain 106 full-time jobs and modernize its Chateaugay operations. According to North County Public Radio, “the North Country’s dairy industry has been in decline for decades. There are only a handful cheese plants left in the region and New York officials have been fighting to keep them open. The plant will remain open during construction slated to begin this summer.

Chateaugay’s Town Supervisor, Don Bilow told NCPR, “ We lost our prison a year or so ago through state cuts and this is our major private employer right now.” He said keeping the plant open also means “our farmers are going to have a market for their milk.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “This is great news for the hundreds of dairy farmers that supply Agri-Mark with milk for their cheese manufacturing facility, and for Agri-Mark, which has a long-standing tradition of producing some of New York’s finest dairy products. This expansion will help solidify Agri-Mark’s future in the North Country and ensure New York State remains a leader in the dairy industry.”

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