July 18, 2018

DFA To Shut Down Century-Old California Plant

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

On Wednesday, the nation’s largest cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), announced plans to “idle” a plant in Hughson, California because of changing market conditions. 

The plant, which was originally built more than 100 years ago and rebuilt following a fire in 1929, produces cream, butter, condensed skim milk and nonfat dry milk. During the 100-year celebration of the plant Mike Zanos, who was the plant manager at the time, said the plant was the one constant in the community over the past 100 years forging a bond between DFA, the community and local farmers. That bond will end when the plant closes in September. 

DFA officials say the plant closing will not impact the market for DFA members who currently send milk there.

“This was a difficult decision, but we have a responsibility to our dairy farmer-owners to operate financially sound businesses that bring them additional returns on their investments in the Cooperative,” said Gary Stueve, chief operating officer for DFA’s Western Area.

However, the 34 people working at the plant will need to find new jobs before the plant ceases operations in mid-September. 

In order to help employees impacted by the plant idling, DFA will work with the union and employees to help them through this transition, DFA said it a statement. DFA is working with local agencies to identify employment opportunities for those workers.