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    Byrne Dairy Supports Farmland Preservation

    Chain's donation will enable state land trust to create Web site, educational materials.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Byrne Dairy, operator of 57 convenience stores, has teamed up with Organic Valley to support the New York Agricultural Land Trust (NYALT) in its effort to protect land for the future of farming in New York state.

    NYALT, established this year as a nonprofit organization, is already working toward protecting 11 farms in central New York, including five farms from its 2006 round of funding, and six farms that were announced at the end of 2007. This effort will result in the preservation of more than 5,500 acres, according to the group.

    Funding from Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley, the nation's largest organic farmers cooperative, will enable NYALT to create a Web site and printed materials for educating landowners and municipal officials about protecting farmland, as well as help the land trust communicate with farm families interested in conserving their land.

    "As word gets out that NYALT is helping to protect farmland, increasing numbers of farmers are contacting NYALT to gain a better understanding of what land conservation entails and how a partnership with NYALT might work. This generous support from Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley will help us get farmers the answers they need," stated Maureen Knapp, NYALT board of directors' president and an Organic Valley farmer.

    This partnership is a natural fit for both Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley, as the two companies recently partnered to package the Organic Valley brand of milk products in the Byrne Dairy plant, located in Syracuse. Both companies depend on the steady stream of milk currently produced on the family-owned farms in Central New York.

    For more than 75 years, Byrne Dairy has provided area families with fresh dairy products. It operates 57 Byrne Dairy convenience store locations across New York state, including Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, Watertown, Elmira and Ithaca.

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