ST. JOHNS, MICH. — Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers Inc. have chosen St. Johns as the preferred location for their new joint venture cheese and whey production facility. They expect the facility to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020 at a cost of $470 million.
The facility will employ about 250 people when at full production, and it will be able to process about 3.6 million liters of milk per day into a range of cheese and whey products for U.S. and international markets. An agreement has been reached with Proliant Dairy Ingredients, based in Ankeny, Iowa, to process whey permeate. Proliant will invest $85 million in an adjoining facility.
The joint venture site in St. Johns meet selection criteria, including location relative to milk supply, transport links, business environment and labor availability. Glanbia Nutritionals, the D.F.A. and Select Milk Producers are working with state and city officials and community leaders to address issues such as cost, infrastructure and planning to finalize the decision. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has approved a package of incentives addressing those areas.
“The finalization of the preferred location is a critical step on our journey to deliver a new ultramodern dairy facility in Michigan,” said Brian Phelan, chief executive officer of Glanbia Nutritionals. “We want to thank the state and city authorities for their continued support as we move to commence construction as soon as possible.”
Greg Wickham, chief financial officer for the D.F.A., added, “The construction of the plant in St. Johns will not only address a growing industry need for Michigan plant capacity, but it also adds value and supports our local dairy farm families in this area.”