National cooperative Dairy Farmers of America recently marked the opening of its new milk powder plant in Garden City, KS, a press release announced Friday. The cooperative’s decision to open the new facility stems from growth in domestic and international demand for milk powder and a desire to support the industry’s growth in the area.
“This investment not only fills an important need for the region by providing a local home for DFA members’ milk, which was previously being transported to other areas of the country, but it also supports and enhances our global ingredients strategy, which benefits all of our farmer members,” said Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer of the cooperative in a statement.
Producing skim and whole milk powder, nonfat dry milk powder and cream, the project created 66 new jobs. The plant receives 4 million lbs of milk/day from 12 member farms in southwest Kansas.
“As a farmer invested in the plant, it’s exciting because we’re connecting our family farms to family tables in a truly sustainable and traceable way,” said Kansas dairy farmer Dan Senestarao in the DFA release, who is also a member of the cooperative’s board of directors. “This plant allows us to trace the product from the time it leaves the farm as raw milk to the time it arrives at the store, which is important to many consumers today.”
The company said its new plant is “water-neutral,” where water used in plant processes is recycled and used for landscaping and watering parks in the community.