News release from Prairie Farms Dairy:
Prairie Farms Investing $8.7 Million in Fort Wayne Facility
New jobs will be added. Distribution footprint expands.
CARLINVILLE, Ill. (February 10, 2017) – Today Prairie Farms announced that an $8.7 million investment in its Fort
Wayne, Ind. facility is underway. The expansion will allow the company to add jobs, manufacture new specialty products, and expand its distribution footprint in the U.S. and Central America.
The company plans to build an extension onto its existing manufacturing facility. Construction on the 22,500 square-foot expansion is expected to begin in April, and be complete within 18 months. It will include a new processing system, storage vessels, packaging lines, equipment to accommodate existing production, a cooler and a dry storage warehouse.
Prairie Farms’ decision to expand the Fort Wayne facility was due in part to incentives offered by the state as part of its strategy focus on expanding Indiana’s current dairy processors, attracting new dairy processing facilities, and adopting policies that support and improve dairy farming operations.
“Prairie Farms has been a part of the Fort Wayne community for 23 years, and we’re looking forward to many more. We
currently employ 117 people, and through this expansion, we are pleased to offer more local jobs. Along with the
expansion comes a bigger distribution footprint for us. Once complete, we will ship more Prairie Farms products from coast to coast, and to Central America,” said Chuck McQuaig, Fort Wayne General Manager, Prairie Farms Dairy. “Fort Wayne is a business-friendly town that encourages expansion, not only for Prairie Farms, but all local companies. We appreciate Mayor Henry’s willingness to work with us and are thankful for the support of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Fort Wayne’s City Council Members, Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Metro Chamber Alliance and Northeast Indiana Works.”
“One of our top goals when we launched the dairy strategy was to add value to Indiana’s dairy products by increasing our state’s processing capacity,” said Ted McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “By expanding their operation, Prairie Farms’ announcement confirms our strategy is working and continues to pay off in Indiana. I applaud their decision and look forward to the growth opportunities this will create for Indiana’s dairy farmers.”
“I continue to be encouraged by the momentum and private investment we’re experiencing in Fort Wayne,” said Fort
Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “Businesses like Prairie Farms are making a meaningful difference by demonstrating a strong
commitment to being part of our community and providing jobs and economic growth. The efforts of Prairie Farms assist us in our efforts to be a point of destination for employers and residents.”
About Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful dairy cooperatives in the Midwest, with over 600 farm families, 5700 employees, 35 manufacturing plants, over 100 distribution facilities and annual sales of over $3 billion. Prairie Farms is a nationally recognized leader in the dairy industry and is known for setting the standard for milk flavor innovations and producing award winning milk and dairy products. With headquarters in Carlinville, Ill., Prairie Farms distribution footprint covers over 30 percent of the United States; products are available in grocery chains, mass merchandiser stores, club stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores, schools, food service outlets and warehouse distribution centers. Prairie Farms charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations. Prairiefarms.com.