Chobani gives $1.5M for dairy research

Photo: Some rights reserved.

Photo: Chris Barker, Creative Commons, Some rights reserved.

The nation's biggest Greek yogurt company – and the one who made Upstate New York the "Silicon Valley of Greek yogurt" – is giving a big chunk change to Cornell University to fund the next generation in dairy research. Chobani's $1.5 million gift to Cornell as a part of a partnership to "promote innovation in dairy and food science". According to a press release:

“This partnership will strengthen the science behind New York’s dairy industry and help us better accomplish our land-grant mission to bring new information, technologies and a well-prepared workforce to this expansive industry,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Our goal is not only high-quality dairy products, but also economic growth in communities that need it the most.”

Chobani's donation will fund graduate research and "workforce development for dairy quality" (not exactly sure what that means).

Chobani's come off a rough patch after it voluntarily recalled product after almost 90 people got sick from eating yogurt tainted with mold. All the yogurt in question was produced at Chobani's plant in Idaho – not at the flagship original plant in Chenango, near Binghamton.

Still, Chobani's story is pretty amazing – from buying a shuttered Kraft plant in 2005 to a massively successful brand. In large part because of Chobani, Upstate New York makes 70% of the nation's yogurt now.


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