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Sen. Schumer visits McCadam Cheese in Chateaugay

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CHATEAUGAY – U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, visited McCadam Cheese Company on Friday for a brief tour and to address two issues he feels are important for cheese production throughout the state.

After a tour, sampling the company’s cheese, and stepping inside the facility’s new warehouse – which is still under construction – Sen. Schumer addressed the crowd of people who gathered. These included Malone Supervisor Howard Maneely, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Legislators Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay, McCadam employees, area farmers, and members of the media.

“I always try to help our dairy farmers,” Sen. Schumer said. “The industry is growing not just in Chateaugay, but throughout New York state.”

Sen. Schumer noted that 27 new cheese producers have been established within the state over the last several years and 20 businesses have applied for licenses to make and sell cheese, ice cream and other dairy products.

Between selling milk or selling cheese, Schumer said cheese will sell for three or four times as much.

Schumer said that of the two issues he was going to mention, one was offensive while the other was defensive.

The defensive issue Schumer said he is concerned about has to do with the European Union attempting to trademark common names of cheese, such as “muenster” and “parmesan,” so that these could not be used by those exporting the same products.

“They say you can’t call your cheese muenster, you can’t call your cheese cheddar, you can’t call your cheese parmesan unless it came from that region in Europe,” he said.

Sen. Schumer said that if the EU succeeds, this could do some damage throughout the state.

“That would poke holes in the cheese industry in New York,” he said. “You can imagine what that would do to sales. I will do everything to prevent this from happening. It’s a bad thing.”

On the offensive side, Sen. Schumer said he supports a Cornell Cooperative Extension grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. If awarded, the funds would go toward training dairy farmers to produce cheese and cheese aging.

A news release from Schumer’s office said that Cornell has a partnership with Wegmans, a supermarket chain, which would sell the products.

Local elected officials thanked Schumer for his visit to the area.

“Thank you very much for al the work you’ve done for all the dairy farmers in Franklin County and the North Country,” Mr. Jones said.

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