Grantee Name

Dairylea Cooperative, Inc.

Funding Area

Publication Date

November 2011

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

December 1, 2008 - April 15, 2010


Individual farmers are among the 2.7 million New York State residents who lack health insurance. Agri-Services Agency, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dairylea, provides health insurance to farmers and small businesses or sole proprietors. The New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) extended a grant to Dairylea to intensify and broaden its outreach and marketing activities to increase health insurance enrollment among the dairy industry as well as other major sectors of the State’s agricultural community. The grant began during a financially stable time for farmers; however, in 2008–2009, a national dairy recession coupled with the national economic recession made it difficult for farmers to afford health insurance options and Dairylea was unable to make any substantial gains in new enrollees during the grant period. NYHealth’s support did help offset enrollment losses during the dual recession and build Dairylea’s capacity to revisit its outreach and marketing efforts once the economic environment improved.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Issued press releases announcing partnerships with Fidelis Care and BlueCross BlueShield, which generated local media coverage.
  • Created brochures and a new tradeshow display that was used to promote Dairylea‚Äôs insurance options.
  • Sent brochures to the Montgomery County Public Health Department for distribution to rural medical providers.
  • Used print, online, and radio advertising to reach members and non-members in rural farming communities across Upstate New York.
  • Coordinated two dozen town hall meetings that were held across Upstate New York.
  • Reached out to associations representing various agricultural industries including beef, fruit, vegetable, aquaculture, maple syrup, and nurseries.
  • Increased its capacity by maintaining two full-time staff positions.