News release from Greater Fort Wayne:
Prairie Farms Plans Local Expansion
Company Set to Invest $8.7 Million
(February 10, 2017) â€” Prairie Farms Dairy, a farmer-owned cooperative, today announced plans to invest $8.7 million to produce additional cultured and ingredient products beyond its current portfolio, creating up to eight new jobs over the next three years.
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 will include a new processing system, storage vessels, packaging lines, equipment to accommodate existing production, a cooler and a dry storage warehouse.
“Indiana’s agriculture industry contributes $31 billion to the state’s economy and supports more than 100,000 Hoosier jobs,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “We are proud that Prairie Farms is choosing to grow in Indiana, and we look forward to our continued partnership as we work to create new jobs and support Indiana farmers.”
Prairie Farms is comprised of more than 600 farm families throughout the Midwest, and its distribution footprint covers more than 30 percent of the U.S.
“Prairie Farms has been a part of the Fort Wayne community for 23 years, and we are 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.”
Prairie Farms is expected to receive an incentive package valued at $611,279 from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Northeast Indiana Works and the City of Fort Wayne. The project will also qualify for a 10-year phase-in of real property taxes and a 10-year phase-in of personal property taxes (equipment).
“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
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. To learn more, visit www.prairiefarms.com.
About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc., serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its metro chamber alliance and primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc., focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention and community engagement. To learn more, visit www.greaterfortwayneinc.com.