McCarty Dairy in western Kansas has entered into exclusive deal with the yogurt giant. The dairy will now be the sole milk supplier for the company’s yogurt plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to the Associated Press, the agreement marks the first of its kind.
“It's the only one of its kind in North America,” owner Tom McCarty said. “Which I didn't even know until the other day.”
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback also commended the deal, noting that it could help make Kansas a major player in the nation’s dairy industry.
“I applaud McCarty Family Farms and Dannon for entering into a successful partnership that benefits farmers, the small businesses that support farmers, consumers and the community as a whole,” Brownback said in a news release. “This partnership is a fabulous example of how agriculture can create good-paying rural jobs with the potential to spur significant additional job creation in the future.”
The announcement marks the latest chapter in the dairy’s long history, which began in Pennsylvania in 1914. About 12 years ago, McCarty and his wife Judy transitioned the dairy from the Keystone State to a new plot near Rexford, Kan. Since then, they have added two additional farms near Bird City and Scott City. Their milking herd has since expanded to 7,200, more than nine times their original herd size in 2000.
The dairy also has an on-site processing plant at their Rexford location, enabling them to convert fluid milk into dehydrated milk powder. The dried milk will then be transported to Dannon’s Texas plant.
The deal has brought more to Kansas than just a stronger dairy presence; 50 new jobs have also been created in rural Kansas to accommodate the demands of Dannon. Additionally, the construction of the milk condensing operation required more than 55,000 man-hours.