The facility is expected to sprawl over 55,000 square feet and will help wade through the state’s surplus milk supply. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) estimates that the state’s dairy farms spend more than $164 million to process milk at out-of-state plants currently, due to a lack of in-state processing plants. This new endeavor is being supported by a $412,500 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant and a $500,000 grant from MDARD’s Food and Agriculture Investment Fund, as well as a 12-year property tax abatement from the city of Greenville.
“Foremost Farms’ new milk processing plant will increase capacity and accessibility for Michigan dairy farmers while elevating the profile and profitability of our state’s dairy industry, and we’re pleased to support this investment and the new jobs for area residents,” Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said.
The facility will operate under Greenville Venture Partners LLC, a subsidiary of Foremost Farms USA Cooperative. Foremost is the eighth-largest cooperative in the United States.
“Being the second-most agriculturally diverse state in the country, Michigan is ideally positioned to use more of what we grow and produce to create another layer of economic value for the state,” MDARD Director Gordon Wenk said. “Not only will this project work toward stabilizing the industry for milk producers in that region, but it also will create valuable jobs for people in a rural community.”
MDARD reports that more than 24 percent of Michigan’s milk production is shipped out of state every year, from among the 10.9 billion pounds produced. That makes Michigan fifth in the nation for total milk production, which contributes $15.7 billion to the state’s economy.
By: Chris Galford
Source: The Peninsula