Creamery to open at SUNY Sullivan
LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — SUNY Sullivan announced on November 27 that Catskill Creamery has been approved to participate in the START-UP NY program in partnership with the college. A press release from the college says the owners of the creamery plan to invest more than $9 million in the project and to create at least 56 jobs within five years.
The START-UP NY program grants generous tax breaks to new or expanding businesses that partner with a SUNY college. The tax breaks include credits or refunds on sales and use taxes paid by the business. Further, the business will pay no real estate property taxes, and no income tax for employees making up to $200,000 for the first five years of operations.
“The Catskill Creamery manufacturing operation will provide numerous benefits to our students, in a variety of programs,” said SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance. “Additionally, the creamery will have a positive impact on the workforce of Sullivan County, and has the potential to help alleviate the struggles that our local dairy farmers have endured over the past few years with regard to the sale of their milk.”
According to a press release from the college, the primary activity of the creamery will be processing raw milk. “The creamery will produce cheeses, yogurts and assorted traditional and innovative dairy and dairy-related products. Customers will be distributors and manufacturers who wish small-batch custom formula.”
According to a draft application for the START-UP NY Program, however, the creamery will not purchase raw milk from area dairy farmers. Instead, the raw milk will be “purchased from cooperatives that sell the milk of their member farms.”
Six Sullivan County dairy farmers had their contracts cancelled by Marcus Dairy in June, then five of them got a reprieve for a few months. The future of these farms is uncertain.
Chris Cernik, an attorney for Catskill Creamery is quoted in the press release saying “Catskill Creamery felt that SUNY Sullivan was the perfect location for a processing facility, especially with regard to its close distribution proximity to New York City… In addition to working with the college, the creamery has worked with the Town of Fallsburg and the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute to develop a wastewater management system that will not burden the Town of Fallsburg sewer district.”
The creamery will also serve as a “living laboratory” for SUNY Sullivan and will provide student internships. Ultimately, graduates may be considered for employment at the creamery.