Valley Milk breaks ground for new milk powder plant In California. Shamrock Farms joins support of U.S. Olympic teams. Grassland Dairy will be featured on Discovery Channel. This and other U.S. dairy industry news can be found here.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

 050216pd valley milk rendering

Valley Milk celebrates groundbreaking of Turlock milk powder plant

Dairy company and civic leaders held an April 29 groundbreaking celebration for a new milk powder planned at Turlock, California.

Valley Milk is expected to be completed by December 2017. At capacity, the plant will process about 2.5 million pounds of milk per day.

Five local, long-time dairy families established Valley Milk. They are the Machado, TeVelde, Vander Schaaf, De Jager and Kelley families. Each has been in the local dairy business for more than 80 years, and all are located throughout the San Joaquin Valley from Stockton to Chowchilla, within about 40 miles of the new plant.

Other members of the founders group include two nutritionists Matt Budine and Brian Sundberg and veterinarian Dr. Enrique Schcolnik, all from Progressive Dairy Solutions. The company previously named Patti Smith as its first chief executive officer.


The plant’s location will provide easy access to the Port of Oakland for exporting milk powders.

“Valley Milk is committed to growing this business, we have an outstanding team in place and we are ready to get this construction underway,” Machado said.

It’s part of our culture: Lawsuit filed against yogurt manufacturer

New York resident Timothy Condon and “John Does 1-100” filed a class action lawsuit against Vermont-based yogurt manufacturer Commonwealth Dairy LLC, alleging the company misrepresents product ingredients in its Yo-Yummy yogurt. The lawsuit argues label claims of being “all natural” are misleading to consumers.

The suit (Case number 7:16-CV-02295-VB) was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs are represented by The Sultzer Law Group PC in Poughkeepsie, New York. 

Grassland Dairy to be featured on Discovery Channel

Wisconsin-based Grassland Dairy Products, Greenwood, will be featured in an upcoming episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Innovations” television series. The episode is tentatively scheduled for the third quarter of 2016.

Grassland is owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Wuethrich family, who began the creamery in 1904. It receives milk from about 700 dairy farms, producing a full line of butter products and a diversified portfolio of dairy ingredients for retail, foodservice and industrial customers, both domestically and internationally.

"Innovations," hosted by Ed Begley, Jr., is an information-based series geared toward educating the public on the latest breakthroughs in all areas of society.

Shamrock Farms joins Team USA

Shamrock Farms, with facilities in Arizona and Virginia, is launching an advertising and public relations campaign showcasing the dairy industry’s support of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Highlights include advertising, a fresh fleet of trucks and special product packaging. The campaign depicts the company mascot, Roxie, pledging her “cow's honor” to upholding high standards and producing nutritious milk.

The campaign is tied to the national “Milk Life” sponsorship of Team USA.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will serve as the host site for both the 2016 Olympics (August 5-12) and Paralymics (September 7-18).

ADPI presents scholarships

The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) named two recipients of its 2016 Jim Page Memorial Scholarships. Brittani Owens of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and Phuoc Ly of Aurora, Colorado received $2,000 scholarships at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago.

Owens is a full-time student pursuing a degree in food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has worked as a lab assistant at the Grande Cheese Company for the past two summers.

Ly, a chemist with Leprino Foods, will pursue his dream of becoming a chemical engineer, helping design economically efficient and environmentally friendly cheese-making processes. 

Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program announces graduates

The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker program, an advanced training program for veteran cheesemakers, graduated seven new and three returning Master Cheesemakers. The 2016 class is among the largest in the 22-year history of the program, established through a joint partnership of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, UW-Extension and the dairy farmer-funded Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB).

The newest Master Cheesemakers are: Jeff Allen and Darrell Manning, BelGioioso Cheese; Bill Hanson, Arena Cheese; Bob Koenig, Carr Valley Cheese; Jon Metzig, Union Star/Willow Creek; Scott Navarre, Foremost Farms USA; and Dale Schmidt, Land O' Lakes. Returning Master Cheesemakers are Brian Jackson, Nasonville Dairy; Tom Jenny, Carr Valley Cheese, and Gerard Knaus, Weyauwega Star Dairy.

Participants must complete three years of study and may seek certification as Masters in up to two cheese varieties each time they go through the program.

Mintel researches milk consumption patterns

New research from Mintel shows an overwhelming majority of Americans (91 percent) consume milk, but only 57 percent drink milk by itself. Instead, they’re adding it to foods such as cereal (69 percent) or using it as an ingredient (61 percent).

Mintel said the information signals a need for brands to communicate the benefits of consuming dairy milk as a beverage, especially among parents.

Two-thirds of consumers agreed dairy milk is naturally more nutritious compared to non-dairy “milk.” In addition, consumers are more likely to agree dairy milk is free of additives (81 percent versus 62 percent for non-dairy milk). What’s more, 86 percent of consumers view dairy milk as fresh, compared to 63 percent who agree non-dairy milk is fresh.

The research came with an additional warning. If non-dairy beverages increase protein or provide beauty benefits (skin and hair health), it may draw more consumers away from dairy milk.

Nestlé changes ingredients

Citing consumer demand for transparency, Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream will reduce the number of ingredients in some of its brands and restrict some production practices in its supply chain.

Simplifying its ingredients list, the company will remove artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup and ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms. The company also said it now sources all milk from suppliers not using recombinant bovine somatotropin.

Product lines impacted by the changes include Dreyer’s, Häagen-Dazs, Outshine, Skinny Cow, Nestlé Ice Cream and Nestlé Drumstick.

New products: HP Hood sweet cottage cheese flavors

HP Hood launched two new flavors of cottage cheese to help consumers satisfy their craving for “sweet” in a healthier way. Hood Cottage Cheese with Honey & Pear, and Cottage Cheese with Maple & Vanilla Flavor Added are available in dairy cases throughout the northeastern U.S.  PD

Dave Natzke