Foremost Farms has announced plans to build a new dairy processing facility in Michigan.
President Mike Doyle tells Brownfield the long-term goal for the site is to create a dairy campus and partner with value-added dairy companies. “The plant will start as a condensing and separating operation and then mainly it will turn into a dairy campus. We’ll start the front end of putting in the separation—the intake—and then we will have different companies put different buildings on there to make value-added products.”
He says the first phase of the plant will process up to six million pounds a day of milk and which will then be shipped as milk solids across the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest to other Foremost dairy processing facilities. “I think the stress that we have with the milk growing so much in different parts of the country, not just Michigan, is what it cost to build a plant now and the markets we’re in.” Doyle says the cooperative wants to invite other companies onto the site to create value-added products which would alleviate processing costs.
He says the plant is part of Foremost’s long-term strategy to manage milk solids across their seven-state membership which includes Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio. Doyle says Greenville, Michigan is an ideal location because it has the utilities needed to support the plant and is within 30 miles from a majority of their members’ milk in the state. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.
Foremost had announced in 2016 they would partner with Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Glanbia to build a proposed $400 million cheese and whey production facility in Michigan which would process about eight million pounds of milk per day. Doyle says the dairy campus announcement is a separate project and doesn’t have an update on how the joint venture is progressing.