In 1986, eight dairy farmers in the Finger Lakes region started meeting to discuss the current milk market. They eventually joined together to form Cayuga Marketing, LLC, to collectively bargain for higher milk prices while making it their mission to offer the best milk products possible. With their great success, they grew to include 29 member farms, all located in the Finger Lakes region. Cayuga Marketing continued to explore ways to increase their responsibility and traceability throughout the milk market.
Looking for ways to reduce nutrient losses, odors, and other negative effects the dairy industry has on communities and the environment, Cayuga Marketing hired a national organic residual management company in 2002, and began implementing proposed plans a year later. Several member farms still utilize this system.
In 2008, member farmers began exploring ways to reduce milk-hauling costs. For the next few years, they researched the most effective ways to accomplish their goals, and it was determined that it would be in their best interests to construct a local processing plant. On April 24, 2012, Cayuga Milk Ingredients (CMI) was created by 21 of the Cayuga Marketing member farmers who were passionate about continuing to increase traceability and adding family-owned farm value to every product. The board decision to begin construction was approved on October 10, 2012, and a ceremonial groundbreaking occurred on November 15, 2012.