Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the groundbreaking of Byrne Dairy’s Ultra Dairy plant $24 million expansion—the first phase of the company’s $125 million plan to expand and create nearly 250 jobs in Onondaga County. The initial phase will create 30 new jobs and includes a 42,000 square foot expansion that will allow the plant to increase its packaging capability as well as add additional processing capacity and storage space. Over the course of three phases supported by a $15 million State investment, the company is planning several additional projects at its other production and warehouse facilities.
“Dairy is a major part of our agricultural industry, and the expansion of operations at Byrne Dairy will help to further grow this critical sector of our economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “Byrne Dairy is a fourth generation, family owned New York business, and its expansion will create jobs, spur economic development, and help Central New York continue to rise.”
“Smart economic development is about creating jobs and expanding in areas where we excel, and New York State’s agricultural community is second to none,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today’s announcement. “Byrne Dairy is a staple in Central New York and this investment will continue to grow the State’s thriving agricultural sector bringing jobs and opportunities to the region.”
In addition to the 30 new jobs, the Ultra Dairy expansion will result in the retention of almost 200 jobs at the facility. The company’s Ultra Dairy plant, located at 6750 W. Benedict Road, Dewitt, first opened in 2004. The facility uses an ultra-high-temperature pasteurization process to extend shelf life of up to 150 days. Ultra Dairy processes conventional and organic milks, creams, and other dairy products as well as a variety of non-dairy products. The expansion will allow Byrne Dairy to substantially increase output by adding processing capacity and increasing efficiencies in downstream equipment.
In addition to the Ultra Dairy expansion, Byrne Dairy has proposed several additional projects at its other production and warehouse facilities. The projects are being supported by $7.5 million CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant, and another $7.5 million through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program in exchange for the job creation commitments. Additional projects include a further expansion of the Ultra Dairy facility, expansion of the company’s yogurt and cultured product facility in Cortlandville, and an expansion of its warehouse capabilities in Syracuse and Dewitt which will result in the creation of 248 new jobs.
Carl Byrne, President and CEO of Byrne Dairy, said, “We’re excited to begin this next chapter of Ultra Dairy’s growth. Our ability to expand to meet the growing demands of our customers is critical to the success of not only Byrne Dairy, but also family farms throughout Central New York. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, Empire State Development has been a strategic partner in ensuring Byrne Dairy’s continued growth,” Byrne said.
Originally founded in 1933, Byrne Dairy currently operates four production facilities in central New York. In addition to the extended shelf life facility, the company operates a fresh milk plant, an ice cream plant in downtown Syracuse, and a yogurt/cultured products facility in Cortlandville. The storied company also has wholesale distribution centers throughout New York State and in Massachusetts. The company also operates a chain of over 60 convenience stores throughout Upstate New York.
“Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “New York State is committed to creating economic opportunities for our dairy farmers andthe Byrne Dairy expansion is an important tool to help support and grow the dairy industry in upstate New York and to drive the upstate economy.“
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “This expansion is excellent news for our dairy producers, who are facing many challenges in today’s marketplace, and for Byrne Dairy, an excellent long-standing New York State processor. Through its participation in the New York State Grown & Certified program, Byrne Dairy is assisting in the State’s efforts to promote local dairy that is produced with a focus on food safety and environmental sustainability. We thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for investing in agriculture, which is helping to boost the industry at a time when it needs it most.”
Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, President and Health System CEO, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Randy Wolken, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York said, “Byrne Dairy has been important to the Syracuse area for decades and has contributed greatly to the upstate economy. New York’s investment in this project is an integral part of the Central New York Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative to generate opportunities for businesses and residents in Central New York well into the future.”
Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter said, “I’m pleased to see the growth of a staple in the Central New York business community. Byrne Dairy Ultra Dairy’s expansion is a testament of the commitment the company has to the region and their employees, and their continued long-term success.”
Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II said, “This expansion and continued success of Byrne Dairy is great news for Onondaga County. My administration has placed a laser like focus on re-engaging with our local businesses and reimagining our approach to economic development. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his partnership, supporting our area farmers and his commitment to agribusiness in upstate New York.”
Town of DeWitt Supervisor Ed Michalenko said, “Byrne Ultra Dairy is a powerful example of the synergistic partnership between government, residents, and business that’s tangibly ‘building community’ here in the Town of DeWitt. Vital, profitable, expanding businesses like Byrne strongly support the strength of our tax base, the value of our homes, our overall quality of life, the efficacy of our town services, and the sustainability of the central New York region. We’re pleased and proud Byrne calls DeWitt home; they are a valued member of our community, in fact, we’ve featured them in our upcoming town newsletter.”
For more about Byrne Dairy, click here.
Accelerating CNY Rising
Today’s announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.