Chobani will expand and diversify its Idaho yogurt facility. Walmart will build a dairy processing plant Indiana. A chocolate milk promotion features members of the U.S. Olympic swimming team. This and other U.S. dairy industry news can be found here.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

Chobani to expand Idaho yogurt facility

Chobani LLC will expand its Twin Falls, Idaho, yogurt processing plant to meet growing consumer demand.

The $100 million, self-funded expansion will include the addition of production lines for Chobani’s fastest-growing "Flip"™ products, a new bulk production line for foodservice products, new equipment to produce Chobani Meze™ Dips and yogurt drinks, and the 2016 launch of new products to serve international markets in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Opened in 2013, the Idaho plant is already the largest yogurt manufacturing facility in the world. Chobani made headlines by building the 1 million-square-foot facility in just 326 days.

In addition to expansion plans in Twin Falls, the company is also exploring plans to expand its original plant in Central New York. Combined, the company currently receives up to 4 million pounds of milk from farms in New York and Idaho daily.


Walmart building Indiana dairy processing plant

Walmart will build a dairy processing plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, according to Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, who serves as the state’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Construction for the 250,000-square-foot facility is planned to start this summer, with completion in the summer of 2017. The plant will produce Great Value and Member’s Mark white and chocolate milk, serving 600 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and northern Kentucky. Milk will be sourced from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

MilkPEP chocolate milk campaign features U.S. Olympic swimmers

A new Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) marketing campaign will feature U.S. Olympic Team swimmers adding chocolate milk to their training tables.

The new national television, print and social media marketing campaign – Built With Chocolate Milk – follows swimmers Tyler Clary and Jessica Hardy as they train for the 2016 Summer Games, set for Aug. 5-21, in Brazil. It highlights chocolate milk’s protein and nutrients as a recovery beverage after grueling days of training.

The campaign, funded by the nation’s fluid milk processors, debuts March 27.

Follow the MilkPEP campaign and Olympic swimmers here.

Ag career openings going unfilled

A recent survey indicates lingering misperceptions regarding careers in agriculture will result in a severe shortage of future food producers.

The survey, conducted by ORC International on behalf of Land O'Lakes Inc., polled a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,020 adults, comprising 505 men and 515 women 18 years of age and older.

Survey responses showed fewer than 3 percent of college graduates and 9 percent of Millennials are considering a career in agriculture. Careers receiving the most interest were healthcare and technology (each 21 percent); followed by education (20 percent); marketing and sales; finance; and manufacturing and engineering (all at 12 percent).

Fifty-four percent of respondents think it is difficult or very difficult to get a job in agriculture, even though more than 20,000 agriculture jobs go unfilled each year.

To attract new college graduates, Land O'Lakes created the Global Food Challenge – Emerging Leaders for Food Security™ program to engage future leaders in the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture.

Read more about the Global Food Challenge and join the conversation here.

World Dairy Expo to celebrate 50th anniversary

World Dairy Expo will mark its 50th anniversary, highlighting the journey from a small World Food Expo in 1967 to the internationally renowned show of today. The 2016 World Dairy Expo will be held Oct. 4-8, in Madison, Wis.

Special 50th anniversary events will take place throughout the week, from the official kickoff to the selection of the Supreme Champion cow on Saturday evening. Expo-goers will have the chance to walk down memory lane with the 50th Anniversary Historical Display, in New Holland Pavilion 1.

A special 50th Anniversary Open House will be held Oct. 5, 5 p.m. in the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall. This free event will provide Expo stakeholders a chance to gather and exchange memories, while enjoying a night of food, fun and entertainment.

Read more about World Dairy Expo here, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.  PD

Dave Natzke