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DFA taking part in $12 million facility in western New York

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Craigs Station Ventures (CSV) joined to break ground on September 23rd for a $12 million cold milk separation facility in York, N.Y. The collaboration is the first in which DFA is partnering directly with a farmer group for a project that will benefit all of the Cooperative’s farmer owners. York is just west of Avon, a short drive southwest of Rochester and east of Batavia.

“Partnering with farmers allows DFA and our partners to utilize combined capital to develop sound projects that will deliver value to all DFA members,” said Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer of DFA. “This investment is consistent with our strategy to deliver value to members by better serving our customers, maintaining markets for our members and developing local plant opportunities.”

The plant will help answer the region’s increasing demand for cream, created by existing dairy processors expanding production capabilities and new processors entering the marketplace. The remaining skim will be sold to local yogurt and cheese plants.

At completion, the plant will begin processing nearly 1 million pounds of milk daily, with the capability to increase to 2 million pounds. The facility, which will employ 11 full-time staff, also will have the capability to provide value-added production in the future.

Built on a dairy, the 14,000-square-foot plant will emphasize traceability, sustainability and innovation. In an effort to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint, it will be connected to an anaerobic digester, which will convert manure into renewable energy for the facility. Construction is scheduled for completion in summer 2014.