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The 800 pound butter sculpture of a scene off the farm (seen here on the World Dairy Business Blog) is usually the headliner at the Dairy Building of the New York State Fair.But people wait in a long line for another hot item being used to promote New York’s dairy industry: a cup of milk that costs a quarter at the dairy bar.That includes a young James Moore, who says "It’s the best chocolate milk and white milk I’ve ever tasted in my life." "The Chocolate is more chocolaty and it’s nice and cold."The milk is all whole milk, which probably helps. Chocolate milk rules overall. The milk bar serves five cups of chocolate for every cup of plain milk.Mary Ellen Chesbro, agricultural manager for the fair says the total cups served goes up every year. This year, she's hoping the milk bar will top 400,000 cups of milk out this year.The whole operation is run by a task force of volunteers from the dairy industry, from farmers to distributors. The goal is to promote New York dairy – the state’s biggest agricultural product.Seventeen-year old Dale Durant, who serves milk to fairgoers says it can get pretty busy at the counter."Really nice days there’s a lot of people here. Weekends we get really busy."So to get a taste, go when it’s raining.And keep an eye out for the other smart entrepreneurial move in the Dairy building - the Syracuse bakery selling cookies next to the milk bar.

Vermont Senate considering ID options for migrant workers

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A bill in the Vermont Senate would allow migrant farm workers access to driver's licenses.

Vermont is home to approximately 1500 migrant workers - many of whom don't have legal status. They live and work on dairy farms throughout the state.

And as a study commissioned by the legislature last year found out, it's hard for migrant workers to get to the doctor and the grocery store without a driver's license.

Now, there's a bill in the Senate that would allow Vermont residents who aren't US citizens to get drivers' licenses and non-driver IDs, regardless of their legal status.

It requires applicants to give their name, date, and place of birth, and to prove that they're Vermont residents.

The driver's license would look different from a regular license, and applicants would have to pass a driver's test and pay a fee in order to get one.

Natalia Fajardo is an organizer with Migrant Justice, an advocacy group.

She says that while ideally migrant workers could get regular drivers' licenses, the two-license proposal will work.

"So we embrace it because it doesn't exclude our undocumented community in Vermont, and it definitely provides major relief," Fajardo said.

The bill has passed in the Senate Transportation and Finance committees. The Senate will vote on it next week. If passed, it will move to the House.

North Country Public Radio/Champlain Valley reporter for the Innovation Trail
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