Local farm ready for 'Taste New York' campaign - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local farm ready for 'Taste New York' campaign

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BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - Another State of the State initiative Governor Cuomo put forth Wednesday is to promote New York grown produce and products.

With many upstate farmers facing a volatile dairy market some have come up with a new way to do business.

The governors initiative is called 'Taste New York', and calls for more stores in the state with local produce and products.

One local farm store just opened Wednesday, a new way of business for farmers, as many smaller farms have struggled to make it over the past few years in upstate New York.

"For us to just milk fifty cows there's just no way we could do it," said Charles Curtiss of Willow Marsh Farm.

Ballston Spa's Willow Marsh Farm has been in Charles Curtiss' family for decades. When he realized that just selling milk was not going to pay the bills the idea for a farm store came about.

"All farmers are facing this and it's not easy. There's a lot of long thankless hours in this sometimes," said Curtiss.

Willow Marsh Farm has transformed from a dairy farm selling milk to Stewart's into an enterprise making and selling products like greek yogurt, raw milk, and cheese.

"We don't have the middle man. It's from us to us, from us to the consumers," said Curtiss.

The store also features products from other local farms and sellers.

"Kind of getting out of the farm shoes and thinking like a consumer, what does the consumer want?" said Curtiss.

Curtiss and others like him hope Cuomo's Taste New York campaign set to launch this year will help their new business grow. The plan is set to aggressively market New York grown products and produce as well as the yogurt industry.

Sean O'connor currently makes greek yogurt for Willow Marsh Farm. In return for that process he uses the farms milk to also make and sell his own cheese products.

"They're expanding the market actually I think and I think that's good for somebody tiny like us. It's really become a priority and hopefully with the Governor and his speech that that continues," said O'Connor, the owner of R & G Cheese Makers in Cohoes.

Willow Marsh Farm isn't done yet, it has a creamery in the works so all of its products can be made at the farm.

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