New York further secures its reputation as the leader in Greek yogurt with a $1.5 million donation from Chobani, Inc. to create a dairy quality research program at Cornell University.

Chobani promotes dairy innovation with $1.5 million donationThe donation will be used to establish a research and training program that will support graduate-student research along with workforce development in dairy quality.

“Cornell’s Department of Food Science is one of the leading programs of its kind globally [and] a match to Chobani’s leading role in Greek yogurt and our mission to bring better food options to everyone,” David Denholm, president and COO at Chobani, said.

The company’s gift contributes to the university’s “Cornell Now” campaign, seeking donations from private sources in honor of the school’s sesquicentennial in 2015. The fundraising campaign has already generated more than 85 percent of its $4.75 billion goal. Chobani intends for the money to be used to promote innovation in dairy and food science.

Greek yogurt has become a key product benefitting upstate New York’s economy and propelling the state past California as the country’s top yogurt producer. New York production now accounts for 70 percent of all Greek-yogurt sales.

Kathryn Boor, dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said the research program will not only improve dairy quality, but also promotes economic growth in communities that need it the most.