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Organizations

Read updates from companies and associations serving the dairy industry.

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The Midwest Dairy Association launched “ExploreDairy.com,” a promotional website designed for curious dairy consumers in Minnesota, to kick off June’s National Dairy Month.

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More milk in South Dakota recently spurred award-winning Davisco Foods, an international company that supplies a major portion of Kraft Foods cheese products, to complete a $40 million expansion project at their Lake Norden, South Dakota, cheese plant in anticipation of continued growth in the state’s dairy industry.

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Large dairies often make easy targets for protestors and activists. Similarly, organic dairies often come under fire. So what about a large dairy that’s also organic? While most people don’t normally think of “large” and “organic” in the same sentence, a few have combined the two.

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In 1984, 12 central California dairy families who owned Jersey cows created the Hilmar Cheese Company. More than two decades later, while the company finishes final preparations for another cheese factory in Dalhart, Texas, Hilmar owners recently opened a new ranch that will eventually raise 30,000 heifers in the Texas Panhandle.

The Hilmar Cheese Company is currently the world’s largest single-site producer of American-style cheese. Although the company has flourished in California, its owners were looking for areas that would be more accommodating for raising cows, especially Jerseys, whose milk and butterfat are used in the company’s cheese production. They looked east for a site for the calf and heifer ranch.

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Though the plant broke ground in February 2004 and has been running since last October, Southwest Cheese Co., LLC (SWC), celebrated its official opening on October 6, 2006. Hailed as one of the largest cheese and whey processing plants in the world, SWC is a joint venture between Glanbia PLC and the Greater Southwest Agency. Glanbia, whose global headquarters are located in Kilkenny, Ireland, handles cheese and whey sales and management of the plant, while the Greater Southwest Agency supplies raw milk through Dairy Farmers of America (DFA); Select Milk Producers, Inc.; LoneStar Milk Producers; and Zia Milk Producers.

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When small-scale Gooding cheesemakers Stacie and Steve Ballard left the American Cheese Society’s July awards ceremony with a first-place ribbon for their Pepper Cheddar and a second-place ribbon for their Idaho Garlic Herb curds, Steve Morgan wasn’t surprised.

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