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Lisbon Farmer Meets Sen. Schumer

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CHATEAUGAY - Blake P. Gendebien, a Lisbon-based farmer, met with U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer at the McCadam Cheese manufacturing plant in Chateaugay to discuss issues affecting north country dairy farms and his co-op’s success at marketing value-added dairy products like McCadam and Cabot cheese.

Mr. Gendebien is on the Board of Directors of the Agri-Mark dairy cooperative and was one of several farmers who welcomed Mr. Schumer to tour the facility, which recently won all of the top cheddar awards at the New York State Fair for its McCadam Adirondack Cheddar.

Joining Mr. Gendebien were Neal Rea, a dairy farmer from Cambridge who serves as Agri-Mark’s Chairman of the Board, and Bill Harrigan, a dairy farmer from Chateaugay who serves on the co-op’s Executive Committee.

Mr. Schumer was there to tour the facility and also announce that he will fight European Union tactics to hold exclusive rights to the names of particular cheese types, including Muenster cheese which is produced at the McCadam plant in Chateaugay with milk from local Agri-Mark farms. The European Union is claiming that Muenster cheese (spelled Munster in Europe) can only be produced in certain areas of France, and any cheese bearing the Parmesan name must be made in Italy.

The U.S. dairy industry is fighting this effort.

“It was a great opportunity to meet with one of the country’s top legislative leaders to discuss the dairy industry in the North Country and some of the steps that need to be taken to get the regional and U.S. dairy industry back on its feet,” Mr. Gendebien said in a press release. “The Senator reiterated his support for our industry and our facility, so we hope to continue to work with him in the future to help our industry not only grow, but prosper.”

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