Cheese wedges.
February 27, 2018

Agropur To Triple Size of Lake Norden, S.D. Cheese Plant

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Agropur, a Canadian-based dairy cooperative with numerous holdings in the United States, today announced tripling the size of its Lake Norden, S.D., cheese plant.

When completed in early 2019, the plant will be able to process 9 million lb of milk per day into cheese. Company officials say this added capacity will take the milk from 85,000 cows, a welcome addition to the processing capacity of the I-29 corridor. Agropur plans to add 125 employees to run the expanded plant.

The long-anticipated expansion to the plan is welcome news, and it could support premiums and improve basis, at least for a year or two. “I believe we will see this capacity filled reasonably soon,” says Marin Bozic, a dairy economist with the University of Minnesota. “It is my understanding that South Dakota already has 35,000 or so animal units permitted, and barn construction can start quickly.” 

The Lake Norden project is an important part of Agropur's long-term business strategy, which targets continued expansion through acquisitions as well as organic growth, says Robert Coallier, CEO of Agropur. "We are eager to get to work on this new and important project,” he says.

“Agropur has built a truly remarkable relationship with the Lake Norden community,” adds South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. “The company’s decision to reinvest in South Dakota – a decision that will have an estimated $1 billion annual economic impact in our state – is a prime example of how our dairy industry supports economic development from farmer to small town to processor and beyond.

“If you want an example of the right way to build a multi-million-dollar cheese plant, look no further than the partnership created among Agropur, the State of South Dakota, and Lake Norden,” he says.

“We’re very pleased to be moving forward on the Lake Norden expansion project,” said Doug Simon, President of US Operations, Agropur. “Increasing our milk processing capacity will enable us to take advantage of the growing milk supply in the I-29 corridor and to better serve our customers.”  

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