Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Ag media members get a taste of New York dairy industry

PD Editor Emily Caldwell Published on 30 August 2013

Attendees of the 2013 Agricultural Media Summit held in Buffalo, New York, had the opportunity to tour several agricultural companies in the western New York region on August 3.




The first stop of the bus tour was Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., in West Seneca.

This location of Upstate Farms takes in 2 billion pounds of milk annually and produces a variety of products including fluid milk, ice cream, hard cheeses and just recently, Greek yogurt.

The next stop featured a quick visit at Emerling Farm in Wyoming County, which ranks 32nd in the top 50 milk-producing counties in the nation.

1313pd_caldwell_3 “The philosophy used to be that the farm would change when the next generation came home,” owner John Emerling says.

“That’s no longer true. Everything in the industry is changing so fast that we rely on specialists to help us keep up on new technology.”


John and son Mike are in partnership, milking 1,200 cows and managing 24 full-time and three


part-time employees.

The Emerlings put in a methane digester in 2006 and a separator in 2009.

They use the manure solids as bedding and have seen less stress on feet and legs and no increased mastitis than bedding with mattresses and sawdust.

The bus tour also included lunch, shopping at an Amish farm and craft market and wine-tasting at Ravines Wine Cellars. PD


PHOTO ONE: Ag Media Summit attendees were


able to tour Upstate Farms in West Seneca, New York, and enjoy some yogurt.

PHOTO TWO: Emerling Farms in Wyoming County is one of the area’s large herds that help to make it a top 50 milk-producing county in the nation.

PHOTO THREE: Dairyman John Emerling explains bedding and cow-comfort protocols to Ag Media Summit attendees.


PHOTO FOUR: The farm’s methane digester makes excess electricity needed to get through the winter and not quite enough to meet their needs in the summer. The Emerlings are able to get credit for the electricity in winter and use it for summer.

PHOTO FIVE: Emerling speaks highly of the farm’s employees, many of whom are Hispanic. “We wouldn’t be here without them,” he says.

PHOTO SIX: Attendees finished off the bus tour with wine-tasting at Ravines Wine Cellars. Photos by Emily Caldwell.


Emily Caldwell
Progressive Dairyman