Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday in a media release that his administration is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to choose New York to implement the strained Greek yogurt pilot program. In January, the USDA announced that it would begin a pilot program to test the cost-effectiveness of including Greek yogurt in school meal programs. It would be part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, which provide meals in public and private nonprofit schools.
A letter from New York State Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Darrel Aubertine to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the state’s interest in being chosen for the pilot program, and encouraged the USDA to amend the protein crediting standards to better reflect the nutritional value of Greek yogurt.
In the last five years, New York’s yogurt plants have more than doubled in number and production, and milk production grew by nearly 850 million pounds, according to the release.