CHATEAUGAY U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., visited McCadam Cheese Co. on Friday for a brief tour and to address two issues he says are important for cheese production throughout the state.
After a tour, sampling the companys cheese and stepping inside the facilitys new warehouse, which is still under construction.
Sen. Schumer addressed the crowd that included Malone Supervisor Howard Maneely; D. Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay; chairman of the Franklin County Board of Legislators; 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 in 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, Mr. Schumer said, cheese will sell for three to four times as much.
Mr. Schumer said that of the two issues he was going to mention, one was offensive while the other was defensive.
The defensive issue the senator 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 these names could not be used by rivals exporting the same products.
They say you cant call your cheese Muenster, you cant call your cheese Cheddar, you cant call your cheese Parmesan unless it came from that region in Europe, he said.
Mr. 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. Its a bad thing.
On the offensive side, Mr. Schumer said, he supports a Cornell Cooperative Extension grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. The funds would go toward training dairy farmers to produce cheese and age cheese.
A news release from Mr. Schumers office said Cornell has a partnership with Wegmans, a supermarket chain, that would sell the products.
Local elected officials thanked him for his visit to the area.
Thank you very much for all the work youve done for all the dairy farmers in Franklin County and the north country, Mr. Jones said.