Photo by Michael Okoniewski
From judging milkshake contests to tending goats, nurturing animal births and assembling yogurt parfaits, Cornell is making a Big Red imprint on the Great New York State Fair.
An article in the Cornell Chronicle featured reigning New York State Dairy Princess and new animal science major Casey Porter ’18, of Watertown, N.Y. Porter’s Monday at the fairgrounds started at 5 a.m., appearing live on Syracuse TV, then attending the Dairy Day Breakfast banquet where she addressed 200 industry professionals. Immediately after that she judged the fair’s annual celebrity milkshake contest, attended the cheese auction and the Holstein Show.
“Being the New York State Dairy Princess has been an amazing, rewarding experience,” Porter said. “I get to meet so many wonderful people.”
Cornell Dairy’s vanilla and Greek-style yogurt has been a hit at the Yo2Go stand in the Dairy Building. Gary Repko, Yo2Go’s manager, said Cornell delivered 600 more pounds of yogurt Aug. 22, supplementing the 2,000 pounds provided at the start of the fair, and he expected he would need several more deliveries to meet demand.
Members of the New York State Milk Quality Improvement Program, a dairy farmer-funded program established at Cornell University by Professor Emeritus David Bandler, selected the state’s “best milk” processor, bestowing the honor on Upstate Niagara Cooperative of Buffalo, N.Y. Second place went to Battenkill Valley Creamery of Salem, N.Y. Program officials visit all participating fluid milk-processing plants twice a year to collect fluid-milk samples for rigorous analyses. Microbiological and chemical tests are performed, and trained sensory panelists taste each sample and score it for flavor and odor.
Many Cornell students, faculty and alumni are also among this year’s 400 volunteers at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center, organized by the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition.
And 4-H youth exhibits, run in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension, have been a big hit. More than 100 baby chicks are hatched in a professional incubator, with 4-H’ers standing by to educate fairgoers about the process of raising chickens. The young agricultural and environmental advocates also operate a solar powered blender in front of the main entranceway and show fairgoers how to roast marshmallows using solar energy. There is an interactive GIS exhibit this year, as well as the opportunity to test drive a robot made by participants of a 4-H electronics, computer and mechanical engineering mentoring program. Aquaculture is also featured, as is a maple production exhibit featuring an energy system that uses willow trees to produce energy that in turn produces maple syrup.
The fair runs until Monday, September 1, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.