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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.

Brewers get win as FDA agrees to back off spent grain regulations

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Ryan Delaney
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WRVO
The bottling line at F.X. Matt Brewery in Utica, N.Y.

Federal food regulators are backing off of proposed changes to what craft brewers can do with the leftover grains from the beer making process.

Craft brewers in New York have said the proposal would hurt their businesses.

Sen. Charles Schumer had called for the Food and Drug Administration to abandon the change. He announced Thursday FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg agreed to revise the rule to avoid "unintended consequences" that would harm brewers and farmers.

Brewers provide spent grain to dairy farmers as a low-cost or free source of cow feed.

"It’s primarily given to farmers," said New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone. "Some buy it, but it’s really just a great way to get this spent grain out to people who need it. And the cows love it."

The proposal would have classified companies that distribute spent grain as animal feed manufacturers. The classification would have meant new requirements for brewers that would drive up their costs and force higher beer prices.

"You’re talking close 660 million pounds of spent grain that will either to landfills – mostly go to landfills if we’re not able to continue to do the centuries old practice of re-purposing the centuries old practice of giving it to farmers as feed," Leone said.

The FDA is going to open a second public comment period and try to seek a compromise.

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