Federal Proposal Could Affect Military Milk Delivery & Harm NY Dairies

Bryne Dairy, located in DeWitt, N.Y., is planning to expand its Ultra Dairy Plant to grow its packaging capability and create at least 20 new jobs.
( Byrne Dairy )

Supplying New York’s military installations with more than 250,000 gallons of milk each year, Byrne Dairy, located in East Syracuse, N.Y., could face upcoming challenges if a new federal proposal is put in place.

Directly shipping their milk to military bases across the state, a new federal proposal would require the cooperative to send bottles of milk to a warehouse in Virginia before shipping the products back to New York.

Currently, the company purchases milk from more than 250 dairy farms in central New York. However, if the proposal were put in place, Byrne Dairy would be forced to compete for larger accounts and incur increased shipping costs, which they might not be able to do, according to New York’s WBFO 88.7.

“To bring all the milk from central New York down to Virginia and then back up to Watertown, just doesn’t make any sense for anybody," Carl Byrne, Byrne Dairy CEO said. "Byrne Dairy can just bottle it here locally and bring it up to Watertown.”

If the cooperative were not able to withstand higher shipping costs, the federal proposal could potentially hurt local dairy farmers. However, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is determined to stop this potential proposal from happening.

“The idea by the Defense Commissary Agency is to try to be more efficient by buying bigger amounts and using a warehouse, which makes sense for nonperishable goods, but not for perishable items like milk,” Schumer said. “I think when I present it to the top staff of the military they will see how dumb it is. We have to stop this because it would really hurt central New York."

Currently, the proposal has not been finalized and awaits a decision later this spring.


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