Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. is renovating its Schulenburg, Texas, plant to keep pace with steadily growing production demands.
The dairy processing cooperative says the $39.4 million project includes expanding the facility's physical space and installing new equipment.
Scheduled for completion in early 2010, the expansion will add 70 jobs to the area and more than double the plant's size to 250,000 square feet.
The Schulenburg facility is located about mid-way between Houston and San Antonio. It is one of 22 DFA-owned manufacturing plants and a leading manufacturer for shelf-stable cheese dips and salsa.
As part of the Schulenburg upgrade, DFA will add a complete packaging line to the facility, nearly doubling plant capacity. The project will also upgrade and add equipment for its waste water system.
The City of Schulenburg has contributed substantial support to the project, including $3.2 million in utility, street and waste water system upgrades, according to a DFA news release. City officials also have created an Enterprise Zone City, which allows for a lower sales tax rate on the project. They have supported rezoning needs, temporary variances for construction and grants, DFA says.
Originally built in 1929 by Carnation Co., the Schulenburg facility was the first milk plant in Texas. Mid-America Dairymen (now DFA) bought the plant 45 years later, and has since owned and operated the plant.
Nationwide, DFA counts about 18,000 members and represents nearly a third of the nation's fresh milk supply.
Catherine Merlo is Western editor for Dairy Today. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.