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Cornell University corrals $1.5 million from Chobani for research

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Cornell University has partnered with Chobani to develop a research and training program, thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the Greek-yogurt manufacturer based in South Edmeston.

To promote innovation in dairy and food science, the funding was given to the Ithaca-based university as part of its “Cornell Now” capital campaign.

The gift will launch a program supporting graduate student research and workforce development in dairy quality.

“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, in a release. “Our goal is not only high-quality dairy products, but also economic growth in communities that need it the most.”

The move made by Chobani comes as the nationwide popularity of Greek yogurt has strengthened the upstate New York economy. The state’s production makes up 70 percent of all Greek yogurt sales nationwide, and it leads California as the number one yogurt producer in the country.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., lauded Chobani’s $1.5 million gift for providing Cornell the funding it needs to lead research in the dairy industry.

“Cornell is at the forefront of research, outreach, and teaching efforts in dairy and food safety, and I have been working to secure a national partnership between Cornell and the FDA to advance their work,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “Chobani’s gift is another big step in the right direction towards getting Cornell the funding and it needs to become a national hub of dairy innovation and food safety research.”

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