Hilmar Cheese Company will invest $460 million to build a new state-of-the-art cheese and whey protein processing plant in Dodge City, Kansas. The company plans to create 247 jobs in the region.
The company said it is a leader in sustainable practices and has adopted the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment and goal to achieve a Net Zero dairy industry by 2050. Hilmar is expected to break ground on the facility in the summer of 2021 and be fully operational in 2024.
“We greatly appreciate the warm welcome from the State of Kansas and the City of Dodge City officials whose values of integrity and excellence closely align with ours,” said Hilmar Cheese Company CEO & President David Ahlem. “Dodge City gives us many opportunities including a local and skilled labor force, a supportive and expanding agricultural region, and an excellent transportation network that allows us to easily reach our expanding markets. We’re really happy with our decision and excited about becoming a part of this outstanding community."
“Our first-class workforce and central location make Kansas one of the best places in the nation to do business,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “It’s great to see another major food manufacturer like Hilmar choose to put their trust in our state and Dodge City for their newest facility.”
The project has been a collaborative effort of many organizations. Kansas Department of Commerce, Department of Ag and Department of Transportation; the City of Dodge City, Ford County, Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation, Black Hills Energy, Victory Electric, United Tel•Com, Dodge City Public Schools USD 443, Dodge City Community College and area agricultural producers have helped bring the new business to the community.
Joann Knight, Executive Director Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation, added “that the economic impact to the community will be compounded substantially by the additional dairies, transportation and services that will be required to support the processing facility once operational as well as the impact that the construction phase will have on our region.”