US dairy innovation competition crowns inaugural winners

Three dairy innovators were named winnersU
calendar icon 22 August 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Three dairy innovators – Ice Cream, Oakfield Corners Cheese LLC and Terra Firma Farm – were named winners of the inaugural Northeastern Dairy Product Innovation Competition following a pitch competition, according to a news release from the Cornell University-published Cornell Chronicle.

Funded by a $1 million grant from the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) and administered by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) and Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center, the competition supports food innovators in launching value-added dairy products made from ingredients produced in the Northeast.

Oakfield Corners Cheese produces Mexican-style cheese, addressing a market need for the Hispanic community, which represents the second-largest demographic in the country. Terra Firma Farm’s ready-to-use, premium ice cream base, “Your Turn to Churn,” allows consumers to make their own ice cream in minutes, while Ice Cream offers gelato made with goat milk.

“Our growth from this program has been enormous, purely from the fact that we had the ability to learn how to make our product fully lactose free,” said Laura Mack, founder and owner of Ice Cream. “As opposed to just having good digestibility, we now can express to the consumer that it’s lactose free. That would not have happened if we weren’t in this program.”

Each of the three winners receives $55,000 to further develop their products and bring them to market, in addition to ongoing business mentorship and a presence at the Dairy Innovation Showcase at the 2023 Grow-NY Summit, to be held in November. 

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