Communities, Features, St. Johns

St. John’s State-of-the-Art Cheese and Whey Plant

By Deb Price

In October of 2020, a $470 million-dollar dairy processing operation began receiving milk from local farmers. The 375,000 square foot facility in St Johns, Michigan was built on a 120 acre lot and employs over 200 local people.

A joint venture between Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. and Select Milk Producers Inc., MWC is one of the most technically advanced dairy processing facilities in the United States. The site for the new plant was determined due to the growing supply of high quality milk in the region, the excellent transportation infrastructure in the region, proximity to customers and the positive business environment and strong local workforce reputation in the region.

Back in October, the facility took in one million pounds of milk from local dairy farms, to date they take in approximately 8 million pounds of milk each day. By July of this year, nearly 800,000 pounds of American, Monterey Jack and Colby Jack cheese will be made at the facility. Most of it will be cut into 40 pound blocks, packaged and shipped to retailers, food service and ingredient companies. Whey, a liquid of protein, lactose and water that remains when making cheese, will also be produced. It will then be processed into a protein concentrate and protein isolate.

MWC is a world-class leader in manufacturing of premium quality block cheese and whey protein ingredients for consumer food and beverage markets worldwide. Their customers are among the top food and beverage companies in the world. MWC is dedicated to being a good neighbor, committed to providing an excellent work environment that will attract and keep a talented workforce. The community of St Johns is the home of MWC and the surrounding area is invaluable to the company, providing our growing family of employees with an excellent choice of housing, retail businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, churches, entertainment and outdoor activities.

Safety protocols have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic. Employees must wear personal protective equipment. Social distancing measures are in place and there is heightened sanitation measures being done. There are also limits on who is allowed to enter the property.

See pages 7-18 for additional farm articles and advertising in the Weekly’s Spring Farm Section inside this issue.

Deb Price is the editor and publisher of The Meridian Weekly