New $425M dairy processing facility expected to create 259 Michigan jobs

Additional investment to create nearly 40 more jobs


LANSING, Mich. – Michigan's dairy industry is getting a huge boost.

Two investments totaling $510 million are expected to create nearly 300 jobs with the building of a new dairy processing facility in St. Johns, Michigan.

Glanbia has partnered with Select Milk Producers Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America to form Spartan Michigan LLC, which will develop a new $425 million, 146-acre dairy processing facility in St. Johns, which is expected to create 259 new jobs. The facility will process more than 8-million pounds of milk per day.

Proliant Dairy Michigan is investing up to $85 million in an adjoining facility, which will manufacture whey permeate powder and employ 30 to 38 new workers.

“Once again, Michigan’s national reputation as the best place to grow jobs is bringing new investments to our thriving agriculture sector,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan’s dairy industry is an essential economic driver in our state, and this new investment elevates and expands our potential to rise even higher while bringing new jobs and opportunities to this region.

When completed, the Mid-Michigan site will be among the largest dairy processing facilities in the country. 

“This project is vital to the success of the Michigan dairy sector,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief business development and attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

The current plight of the state’s cooperative-member dairy farmers is caused by depressed milk prices due to oversupply of milk and high transportation costs due to the current lack of milk processing facilities in the state. In 2017, the loss to Michigan milk producers was more than $164 million. 

“We’re pleased to continue our investment in Michigan’s dairy industry,” said Rance Miles, CFO/COO of Select Milk. “Our long and successful relationship with our partners and the support of local and state agencies are keys to building this world-class dairy facility.”

In Michigan, there are 1,747 farms, including 1,498 Grade A farms and 249 manufacturing grade farms. The average farm in Michigan has 176 cows and are 98-percent family owned. Michigan ranks fifth in the nation for total milk production, with dairy farmers contributing $15.7 billion to the state’s economy.

“The City of St. Johns has strived for years to create a business-friendly atmosphere and specifically created the Business Park to showcase all that St. Johns has to offer,” said St. Johns Mayor Dana Beaman.

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