Cheese wedges.
August 9, 2018

St. Johns, Mich., Named Site of 8 Million Pound Cheese Plant

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers announced today they have selected St. Johns, Mich., as the site of their new joint cheese and whey production facility that is expected to come on-line in the fourth quarter of 2020. The plant is expected to cost $470 million.


The plant will process 8 million pounds of milk per day and produce about 300 million pounds of cheese and whey products annually. It will employ about 250 people when fully operational.


"This size of this plant is huge. We're looking at 20% plus of the total amount of milk produced in the state of Michigan," says Carl Bednarski, president of the Michigan Farm Bureau (see video below). That huge amount of milk, once the plant opens, will not have to shipped out of state for processing.


Glanbia, DFA and Select also announced that they have entered an agreement with Proliant Dairy Ingredients to process the whey permeate from the plant. Proliant will invest another $85 million to build an adjoining processing facility, and employ another 38 people when that plant is operational.


“The finalization of the preferred location is a critical step on our journey to deliver a new ultra-modern dairy facility in Michigan,” says  Brian Phelan, Chief Executive Officer of Glanbia Nutritionals. “We want to thank the state and city authorities for their continued support as we move to commence construction as soon as possible.”


Adds Greg Wickham, chief financial officer at DFA: “The construction of this plant in St. Johns will not only address a growing industry need for Michigan plant capacity, but it also adds value and supports our local dairy farm families in this area.”


Rick Snyder, Governor of the State of Michigan

  • Commenting on if you don’t have a market, you find a way.



John Dardis, Senior Vice President of Group Sustainability & US Corporate Affairs, Glanbia Nutritionals

  • Two Comments - the company’s purpose & how they hope to effect change for farmers lives.



Carl Bednarski, President, MI Farm Bureau

  • Commenting on how huge this is for Michigan farmers. This plant will take in 20% of the state’s milk.