Shared Values For The Common Good
Our Cooperative Is Dedicated To Dairy
Our commitment to quality dairy extends to every stage of production, from the farm to the consumer. As a farmer-owned cooperative, our mission is to serve each one of our customers the highest quality dairy products and services in order to market milk and maximize returns for our dairy farmer owners, while providing a rewarding environment for our employees.
With over 300 family-owned and operated farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative is one of the largest and most stable dairy cooperatives in the United States. It means added benefits for our farmer-owners and ultimately, our valued customers.
A Family Of
Our family of brands combines to offer a wide variety of quality dairy products. Upstate Farms and Valley Farms brands provide fresh milk to customers in NY and PA. No party is complete without our famous Bison Dip. Intense Milk is perfect for consumers looking for a healthier way to indulge. Nationally, Upstate Farms is a respected brand in the foodservice industry.
A Rich History and Bright Future
Upstate Farms Cooperative and Niagara Milk Cooperative consolidated to form Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., in 2006, which brought together two of the nation's top dairy cooperatives to better serve their members and consumers. But our rich history goes back even further than our official founding in 1971, as we’ve grown with brands and farms that have existed well before that. But no matter how much we grow, our mission and values remain the same.
Our member families have been farming in the Western New York region for several generations, during which several different cooperatives were formed. Each was founded on the mission to help farmers work together to provide milk to the people in the area.
Upstate Niagara began producing great tasting, high-quality dairy products in 1971. We humbly started out as Upstate Milk and steadily grew. That steady growth was due in large part to dedicated farmers, quality assurance practices that were ahead of their time, and good old fashioned hard work.
As Upstate’s reputation for fresh, great-tasting dairy products spread, so did our offerings. Bison Foods, which had been producing real, fresh sour cream since 1931, was introduced as an Upstate brand in 1983. This widened our product offering as we added yogurt, dips and cottage cheeses to our lineup of quality, delicious dairy.
The year 1996 was one of the most memorable in our rich history as the Upstate Farms brand was introduced. Soon after, the Intense Milk brand was launched in 1998, which presented an indulgent line of flavor-packed milks.
Upstate Farms Cooperative and Niagara Milk Cooperative consolidated to form Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., in 2006. That same year, a state-of-the-art cultured products manufacturing facility was built in West Seneca, NY, to more efficiently meet the growing demand for yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream and dips.
Due to exponential growth, in May 2011 Upstate Niagara purchased a second yogurt production facility in North Lawrence, NY. In 2015, Upstate Niagara expanded its fluid milk capabilities by acquiring the Pennsylvania dairy, Schneider Valley Farms. In 2017, Upstate Niagara expanded its production capabilities into the cheese category by acquiring the Kraft-Heinz plant located in Campbell, NY. In 2019, Upstate Niagara purchased a cultured products plant in Batavia, NY to expand its yogurt production. In 2019, Upstate Niagara acquired the former Byrne fluid plant in Syracuse, NY, its ninth manufacturing facility, and fourth for milk.
2020 and Beyond
In July of 2021, Upstate Niagara Cooperative moved its corporate headquarters to Lancaster, NY to accommodate their growth with more space, a centralized location, and modern amenities. In the same year, Upstate Niagara commissioned the Upstate Farms Cultured Products facility in Batavia, NY, which specializes in both traditional and Greek yogurt production.