Agropur recently announced that it has broken ground on a substantial expansion of its cheese manufacturing facility in Lake Norden, S.D. The project, upon completion, should increase the plant’s daily milk processing capacity from 3 million lb. to more than 9 million lb., equal to the output of an additional 85,000 cows.
“Enlarging the Lake Norden plant has been identified as a strategic investment to help further serve our customers,” the company said. “The plant will produce cheese and whey products that are marketed globally.”
The expanded plant is expected to be fully operational by early 2019. Once the project is completed, Agropur plans to add 125 employees to its current workforce.
“Agropur is committed to continuing its development in the North American market. This announcement is very good news for the growing dairy industry and dairy farmers in the region,” Agropur president René Moreau said.
Robert Coallier, chief executive officer of Agropur, said the Lake Norden project is an important part of the company’s long-term business strategy, which targets continued expansion through acquisitions as well as organic growth. “We are eager to get to work on this new and important project,” he added.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard said the company’s decision to reinvest in the area will have an estimated $1 billion annual economic impact in the state.
“If you want an example of the right way to build a multimillion-dollar cheese plant, look no further than the partnership created among Agropur, the state of South Dakota and Lake Norden,” Daugaard said.
The project will make the Lake Norden plant one of the largest cheese plants in the Midwest.
“We’re very pleased to be moving forward on the Lake Norden expansion project,” said Doug Simon, president of U.S. operations for Agropur. “Increasing our milk processing capacity will enable us to take advantage of the growing milk supply in the (Interstate) 29 corridor and to better serve our customers.”