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Ogdensburg dairy farmers

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Ogdensburg dairy farmers Blake P. and Carmen J. Gendebien will be in the big city today to try and get urban dwellers to say “cheese.”

Better yet, to eat cheese.

The Gendebiens, who own and operate Twin Mill Farms, Five Mile Line Road, are among 75 Agri-Mark dairy cooperative-affiliated New York and New England dairy farmers who are in New York, City today for the first-ever Cabot Creamery Cooperative Farmers Gratitude Tour.

Coach buses decked out in Cabot plaid will travel throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, dropping off the farmers at central locations, including local New York City food markets.

The Gendebiens will be in a major Manhattan crossroads location.

“We’ll be at the Whole Foods store in Columbus Circle,” Mr. Gendebien said Thursday. “We’ll be passing out free samples of Cabot cheese. We want to thank everybody for using our products.”

Mr. Gendebien sees his day in the city as more than an opportunity to promote the Cabot product in what he calls a “core market.”

It’s also a chance to raise some cross-cultural awareness.

“Many people living in the city have never met a farmer,” Mr. Gendebien said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Mr. Gendebien is on the Board of Directors of the Agri-Mark dairy cooperative.

In addition to dairy farming, the Gendebiens are well-known and recognized community activists.

Their Jules of Life Foundation helps to raise money for children in need.

In 2010, the foundation, whose motto is “Helping children in need, one event at a time,” received the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce’s annual Outstanding Community Service Award.

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