Assemblyman Santabarbara: Yogurt One Step Closer to Becoming New York’s Official Snack

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara met with members of the Chobani Yogurt team at the New York State Assembly’s “Celebrate Yogurt” event. Chobani, located in New York, is the number one Greek yogurt brand in the country and the official yogurt of the U.S. Olympic Team.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) announced that legislation he sponsored designating yogurt as the official state snack passed the Assembly (A.8994). The legislation also passed the State Senate and now awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

“Agriculture is an integral part of our local economy and the booming yogurt industry has helped our dairy farmers expand and create new jobs,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “In fact, the incredible surge in yogurt demand and production has helped the industry grow and proven that this healthy snack is one of New York’s crown jewels.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the dairy industry generated $2.8 billion in statewide revenue in 2013 alone. Additionally, with 741 million pounds of yogurt produced in 2013, New York was named the “yogurt capital of the nation” for the second year in a row. In the Mohawk Valley, milk and other dairy products accounted for more than 60 percent of the region’s agricultural sales.1

Previously, the state lifted caps under the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulation, allowing family farms in New York to grow from 199 cows to 299 without facing extra costs. This measure removed a financial barrier that prevented many farmers from expanding and helped the yogurt industry increase its production, Assemblyman Santabarbara noted.

For a full list of official state symbols representing New York, please visit http://tinyurl.com/NY-Symbols. ______________________________

1. osc.state.ny.us/osdc/rpt7-2013.pdf