Dairy plant being built in Cass City - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dairy plant being built in Cass City

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(09/26/13) - The Dairy Farmers of America is moving into the Thumb area and bringing new jobs with them.

The National Dairy Marketing Cooperative will build a new manufacturing plant in Cass City in Tuscola County.

Not only will it provide an economy boost for the small town, but it will also give local farmers a place to take their products that's a little closer to home.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held Thursday for the $40 million plant.  

It's good news for construction workers, good news for farmers, and good news for Cass City.

"This is a great opportunity for more jobs," said Glenn Wallace, of the Dairy Farmers of America.

There will be the construction jobs needed to build this ingredient processing facility in Cass City.

"What we are essentially doing at this plant is taking two thirds of the water out of this milk, turning it into a concentrate, so we can transport it to those distant markets to produce cheese, yogurt and other dairy products," says dairy farmer Jerry Peterson of Harbor Beach.

It's being built by the Dairy Farmers of America, and it will give Michigan diary farmers like Peterson a much closer destination to sell his product.

"Most of our milk gets trucked one or two states away, currently to find a market and this plant is about 30 miles from dairy," he says.

It's the center of the thumb, so everyone has to come the same distance to get here.

Cass City village president Carl Palmateer says the 25 jobs that will be created when the plant begins operation next fall will help the entire region, and the village's bottom line will get a boost.

"The water and sewer will be double of what it is now for the village of Cass City," Palmateer says.

"It's critical because this area is growing very rapidly in terms of milk production for our members," Wallace said.

Wallace says while the two dozen or so jobs might not sound like a lot, the plant will create other opportunities in the thumb area.

"There will be jobs on the farms, there will be jobs in town, there will be jobs growing crops, and other things so a lot of jobs will be created out of this," Wallace said.

This is just phase one of this project, and the hope is it will have to expand one day.

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