Cornell Dairy makes yogurt for state fair's 'Yo2Go'

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Melissa Osgood
Charlie Valentine, Tim Barnard, Kirk Nelson, Rob Ralyea and Jason Huck
Jason Koski/University Photography
From left, Charlie Valentine, Tim Barnard, Kirk Nelson, Rob Ralyea and Jason Huck package the Cornell yogurt for the New York State Fair's "Yo2Go" yogurt bar.
Jason Koski/University Photography
A package of Cornell yogurt destined for the 'Yo2Go' yogurt.

Amid such standard state fair fare as corn dogs, doughnut burgers and elephant ears, Cornell Dairy is supplying a healthy treat for the Great New York State Fair: vanilla-flavored regular yogurt and Greek yogurt made exclusively for the fair’s first yogurt bar – called Yo2Go.

The yogurt is made from 100 percent Cornell cow milk and served parfait style with such tasty toppings as black cherries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, mango, peaches and even dark chocolate bits and crunchy granola. Yo2Go, located in the Dairy Products Building, also offers carrots and celery for dipping.

“Because New York leads the nation in yogurt production, we encourage everyone to enjoy this healthy and delicious snack,” said Kathryn Boor, Cornell’s Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The fair runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 1.

The yogurt was made at Cornell’s new dairy plant, a state-of-the-art processing facility that supports teaching, research and extension programs, as well as processes milk and milk products from the Cornell dairy herd, and supplies dairy products to campus. To provide for all 12 fair days, Cornell Dairy is supplying two tons of yogurt.

In the production of the Greek yogurt, the dairy uses a new machine to strain the protein from the whey. A small-scale separator strains away the whey, leaving a concentrated, thick yogurt. Large-scale companies can use Cornell’s separator for commercial product development, as it is less expensive than running a large, commercial-size machine.

Making the Cornell yogurt: Jason Huck, manager of dairy operations; Rob Ralyea, senior extension associate; Tim Barnard, production manager; Deanna Simon, quality manager; and Mackenzie Brown, Keeley O'Brien, Charles Valentine, Kirk Nelson and Nathan Thompson of the dairy production team.

“With the high popularity of yogurt with consumers, we felt it was the right time to introduce this high-protein, low-calorie and refreshing value-added dairy product option to fair attendees,” said Bruce Krupke, chair of the New York State Fair Dairy Products Building advisory team. “We think it will be very popular.”

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Blaine Friedlander