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DFA to build ingredient plant in Fallon, Nev.

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) will invest an estimated $85.8 million to build a state-of-the-art dairy ingredient manufacturing facility in Fallon, Nev., according to Rick Smith, DFA president and CEO. Addressing delegates and guests at DFA’s 14th annual meeting, March 19-21, in Kansas City, Mo. Smith said the plant’s primary business will be to produce whole milk powder for export markets. The plant will also have flexibility to produce skim milk powder for domestic markets in event the whole milk powder export market weakens.
DFA purchased a 31.5-acre parcel in Fallon’s New River Business Park, located in western Nevada. The co-op expects to break ground on the project on April 11, with construction expected to be completed in summer of 2013.
The facility will be equipped to process 2 million lbs. of raw milk daily and, at full capacity, will produce approximately 250,000 lbs. of dried dairy ingredients daily (90 million lbs. annually). Smith said the facility’s capacity could eventually grow to about 4 million lbs. of milk daily. 
According to additional information provided by Smith and a fact sheet covering the Fallon facility, 22 dairy farmers in the Fallon area currently produce about 1 million lbs. of milk per day. With the need for additional milk to serve the plant, “Nevada is an ideal location for dairy farmers looking to start or expand an operation.”
The location includes ample water and a climate conducive to agriculture; low feed costs with plentiful high desert grown, dairy-grade alfalfa hay; a wide range of resources to support development; state and local government incentives and programs; agriculture-friendly regulations; and no corporate or personal income, inheritance or business inventory tax.
The investment, approved by DFA’s board of directors, is part of the cooperative’s strategic initiative to increase commercial investments in an effort to bring increased value to its member owners. The project provides DFA the opportunity to enter a new market segment and to continue to leverage dairy farmer equity into profitable investments.
In addition to the creation of at least 40 full-time positions at the facility, increased employment opportunities are expected to occur in the community, on member farms and in agriculture support industries.