Facility to be one of nation’s largest, support Indiana’s agriculture industry
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (March 18, 2016) – Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, announced plans today to establish a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne, providing new opportunities for Indiana’s dairy industry and creating more than 200 good-paying jobs ranging from milk processing to transportation by the end of 2017.
“Today, Indiana’s agriculture industry contributes $31 billion to the state’s economy and supports more than 100,000 Hoosier jobs,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Last year, Walmart opened a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Plainfield, creating more than 300 jobs, and today we celebrate 200 more. I’m proud to welcome this expansion as we work to create quality jobs for Hoosiers and support our Indiana farmers.”
With construction anticipated to begin this summer, Walmart will build a more than 250,000-square-foot milk processing plant, which is expected to be one of the largest in the industry, at 2322 W. Pleasant Center Road. The highly-efficient plant will leverage the latest technologies to produce Great Value and Member’s Mark white and chocolate milk for more than 600 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Walmart estimates that milk processing will begin in the summer of 2017.
“By operating our own plant and working directly with the dairy supply chain in the Midwest, we’ll further reduce operating costs and pass those savings on to our customers so that they can save money,” said Tony Airoso, senior vice president of sourcing strategy for Walmart U.S. “This facility is an example of how we are always finding efficiencies within the supply chain to deliver everyday low prices and high quality groceries.”
Indiana Dairy Producers is pleased that our Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture (ISDA) grasped the idea of the need for more dairy processing to enhance the marketing opportunity for Indiana’s dairy farm families. They not only understood but immediately commissioned a study and hence the 2015 Indiana Dairy Strategy – confirming the need for more processing in our state. Indiana Dairy Producers applauds our Ag friendly Administration, the ISDA, and the Indiana Economic Development Corp (IEDC) partnering to bring this project to Indiana – and Walmart for making the decision to locate in Indiana, making our dream start to become a reality! We believe this brightens the future for our Indiana dairy industry while adding a great economic impact to our state.
Indiana Dairy Producers is very pleased to offer this exceptional Farm & Industry Tour on March 30-31. We are chartering a comfortable bus and will fill it with dairy producers and dairy industry folks who want to visit some very interesting places in Illinois.
The bus will leave Lafayette from the Meijers Parking Lot at 8 AM Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 30. It should return to the same place around 5 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, March 31. Please note that we will be on Central Time in Illinois.Registration cost for the first person is $225. Additional persons sharing the same hotel room are $100 per person. Since lodging is included in registration, we will make your hotel reservations for you. Registration includes bus transportation from Lafayette, overnight lodging on March 30th at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Bloomington, IL, snacks, and all meals except Thursday lunch. You must be a current IDP member to attend, and if needed, you can easily become a regular or associate IDP member for $50. All registration fees must be prepaid by March 15, 2016. We accept checks and all major credit cards. Space is limited, so please don't delay! We will make every effort to accommodate your individual needs. Click here for a tour brochure with additional registration details. If you would like to get registered, or if you have questions, please contact Doug Leman at 317-695-8228 or email at email@example.com.
Farms on the Tour:
We will tour Slagel's and Zehr Acres, both tremendous heifer raising facilities, in Fairbury, Illinois. Then, we will tour Kilgus' Dairy & Farmstead Country Store, a 4th generation dairy that bottles and markets their own milk throughout Illinois. We will finish the first day of farm tours with Sauder's River Valley Farm in Tremont, Illinois. River Valley is known for tremendous genetics, and their commercial Jersey herd utilizes Lely robotic milkers.At the Holiday Inn & Suites, we will enjoy a delicious dinner and listen to Dr. Mike Hutjens, our keynote speaker. All of this is included with registration.
Day 2 will begin with a tour near Mansfield, Illinois. Kasbergen's Stone Ridge Dairy. The farm milks 3200 Holsteins in a double 50 parallel parlor. Our final tour stop will be at Butlerview Farm, owned by brothers Jeff and Jim Butler and their mother, Joyce. This farm is world renowned for elite genetics.