The Washington Post

Andrew Cuomo is proud of New York’s yogurt makers

(John Minchillo/AP Images for Chobani)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will take any opportunity to brag about his state — even when it comes to something as mundane as yogurt.

In a news release Tuesday, Cuomo’s office touted new data from the National Agriculture Statistics Service that showed New York produced more yogurt than any other state in 2013. Last year, New York produced 741 million pounds of yogurt, up from 695 million pounds the previous year.

That’s 15.7 percent of the country’s total yogurt production — and 150 million more pounds than the second-largest producer, California, churned out.

“For the second year in a row, New York State has earned the distinction of being the yogurt capital of the nation. This is another example of how when government and the private sector work together, as we have done with New York’s dairy industry to eliminate barriers to growth, the result is positive economic activity that translates into jobs and new opportunities for New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.

And there’s more to come: Cuomo pointed to a new $50 million factory being built in Onondaga County by Agrana Fruit, which will produce fruit that goes in yogurt.

Cuomo has been a fan of yogurt for some time. In 2012, he held a New York State Yogurt Summit, with dozens of dairy farmers parading to Albany (they ran out of spoons after two hours). Chobani, the nation’s largest Greek-style yogurt maker, is headquartered in upstate New York.

And he’s not the only New Yorker who’s crazy for cultures. When Russia refused to allow a shipment of Chobani yogurt to U.S. athletes competing in Sochi, Sen. Charles Schumer (D) issued statements demanding action. “The Russian authorities should get past ‘nyet,’ ” he said at the time.

Reid Wilson covers national politics and Congress for The Washington Post. He is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tip sheet on politics.

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