Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family-owned and -operated dairies in the country, has broken ground on a $50 million state-of-the-art dairy manufacturing facility in Virginia. Officials at the Phoenix-based company say the national expansion and increased capacity will allow Shamrock Farms to provide more great-tasting and innovative new milk and milk-based products to people across the country.

The facility is expected to open in late 2014. It will be 130,000 square feet initially, with room for expansion. Once completed, the plant will employ up to 60 people. Shamrock Farms will source its milk from Virginia-area farmers, and will ensure that it meets the same high quality standards as that from the company’s Arizona producers, officials say.

Among the key new product introductions that will be manufacturers at the new facility are Shamrock Farms on the go mmmmilk and Rockin' Refuel protein fortified milk beverages, which are used by sports teams in 150 colleges and universities nationwide. The brand also has expanded its national business in convenience stores, grocery and quick service restaurants such as Subway, Arby’s and Einstein Brothers.

“This is a key milestone in our company’s more than 90-year history, and a natural next step as we continue to achieve even further national growth,” says Kent McClelland, who is the third generation of McClelland family leadership. “The Shamrock Farms brand stands for Real.Fresh.Ideas, which means a commitment to innovation and to providing authentic, high-quality dairy products.”

With dual manufacturing capabilities, Shamrock Farms can better serve its customers and the U.S. population, he notes. The new facility, which will feature the latest in extended shelf life technology, will increase production capacity and better position the company to respond to increasing demand.