Michigan Dairy Plant Plans $21.3 Million Expansion

Agropur, Inc.'s dairy processing plant in Le Sueur, Minnesota.
( Agropur, Inc. )

A dairy plant in Western Michigan is planning an expansion that will add 62 jobs over three years and cost $21.3 million.

Agropur, Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian-based Agropur Cooperative, will expand its Wyoming, Mich. processing plant by adding new equipment and making modifications to the facilities.

“We’re excited to be expanding our facility in Grand Rapids, which will allow us to better serve our customers,” says Doug Simon, President of US Operations, Agropur. “This investment is a key to continuing Agropur’s impressive growth, and will also create jobs in the state of Michigan.”

Agropur has 39 dairy processing plants in North America and processes more than 13 billion lb. of milk total. Earlier this year Agropur announced an expansion at the cooperative's Lake Norden, S.D., cheese plant.

The Agropur expansion is part of collaborative project with the City of Wyoming, The Right Place, Inc. and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The Right Place is an economic development organization that has invested more than $4.7 billion in Western Michigan.

“Agropur’s decision to invest $21.3 million and create more than 60 jobs is a tremendous win for West Michigan and the region's growing food processing sector,” says Thad Rieder, Senior Business Development Manager, The Right Place. “By partnering with the City of Wyoming, West Michigan Works!, Grand Rapids Community College and MEDC, The Right Place has been able to coordinate talent, training, and financial tools to boost Agropur’s internal return for this important expansion.”

The City of Wyoming is supporting the project through a P.A. 198 tax abatement.

“The City of Wyoming is a phenomenal place for manufacturing and we are so proud to have companies like Agropur in our community,” says Mayor Jack Poll, City of Wyoming. “We are excited to be a part of their growth story and we look forward to watching their continued success.”

MEDC is supporting the project with a $434,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

The Agropur expansion is the latest in a string of new plant builds and expansions in Michigan this past year. Foremost Farms will build a new plant in Greenville slated for completion by 2018, while a partnership with Glanbia plc, Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. will bring a plant to Michigan by 2020.

Michigan ranks sixth nationally in milk production producing 33 million lb. of milk each day. The state currently only has processing capacity for 26 million lb. per day.