Construction on a $57.9-million dairy processing plant is slated to begin as the state tries to manage its plethora of milk.
Foremost Farms USA, a Wisconsin-based farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative, will begin a multiyear project on a 96-acre site in Greenville in the next few weeks.
The plant will include a 55,000-square-foot milk condensing facility set to be complete by the end of the year. Once in operation, the facility is estimated to condense 3.2 million pounds of raw milk per day, which is about 386,000 gallons.
There are 12 other milk-processing plants in Michigan, which is not enough to help farmers with the abundance of milk that is being produced.
Karin Uebbing is a herd share farmer who owns Woodbridge Dairy Farm in Byron Center. She helps fellow farmers to milk, bottle and deliver their milk.
Although Uebbing said her business will not be affected by Foremost Farms’ proposed milk-processing plant, she sees how the oversupply of milk is affecting others.
“The dairy industry right now is very broken, and it breaks my heart to watch my neighbors sell off farm after farm … family after family,” Uebbing said. “The dairy industry has been overproducing and has been paid to overproduce by Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association and by the government in general.
“So now, they have paid to overproduce, hence, now there is a flow of milk and a lot of dairy farmers have fallen on hard times because there is too much milk and now there are not enough plants. This is why they are trying to put a plant in, but it doesn’t affect me as much as it would affect a commercial farm.”
Source: WZZM 13