ST. JOHNS, Mich. — Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. (Select), selected the City of St. Johns as the preferred site for their new $470 million cheese and whey production facility.
The trio joined together for the joint venture to boost dairy production in Michigan. The new facility is slated to open in the later half of 2020 and will employ 250 workers. The plant will process 8 million pounds of milk per day into a range of cheese (300m lbs per year) and whey products for U.S. and international markets.
In addition, the partners reached an agreement with Proliant Dairy Ingredients to process the whey permeate. Proliant will invest $85 million in an adjoining facility, creating up to 38 jobs.
St. Johns was selected for its strategic location relative to milk supply, strong transport links, a positive business environment and labor availability, said Brian Phelan, chief executive officer of Glanbia Nutritionals.
“The finalization of the preferred location is a critical step on our journey to deliver a new ultra-modern dairy facility in Michigan. We want to thank the state and city authorities for their continued support as we move to commence construction as soon as possible,” he said.
St. Johns is located in Clinton County – about 25 miles north of Lansing.
Both the City of St. Johns and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation offered incentives for the project.
“The construction of this 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,” said Greg Wickham, chief financial officer at DFA.