January 16/Hilmar, Calif./Press Release -- Hilmar Cheese Company Inc. announced plans to build a milk powder processing facility in Turlock, California.

We are expanding our ingredients business to meet strong global demand for milk powders,” explained John Jeter, Hilmar Cheese Company CEO and president. “The U.S. dairy industry, and specifically California, is well positioned to be a consistent supplier to the world."

The Turlock facility will produce a variety of milk powders designed to be a primary foundation for delivering nutrition in various forms to a hungry and developing world. Milk powder is a convenient form of milk that does not require refrigeration and is simple to reconstitute. Milk powder is an easily transported and stored ingredient making it an important source of dairy for developing nations.

“With this expansion into milk powders, we are continuing our tradition of converting our high quality milk supply into the value-added products customers want,” Tom Ielmini, vice president, Hilmar Ingredients explained. “We now have customers in 50 countries and are always striving to meet their needs. This is part of a broader plan to be a larger, more dynamic global supplier.” Hilmar Cheese Company’s division, Hilmar Ingredients, will market the milk powder.

GO-Biz, Governor Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, assisted with site-selection.

“GO-Biz is excited that Hilmar Cheese Company is expanding their presence in California, further strengthening the state’s food processing industry,” said director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Kish Rajan. “Our team worked closely with Hilmar Cheese Company to help them find a location for their new facility and we look forward to helping them continue to grow and provide new job opportunities.”

The Turlock location provides numerous advantages. It is ready for construction and the location is excellent for export opportunities through the Port of Oakland.

“The City of Turlock’s staff was excellent to work with,” Jeter commented. “This is a great example of how effective business and government can be when we work closely together.”

The new facility will add 40 full-time jobs to the local economy when completed. The construction will add economic stimulus to the area with builders, contractors and others benefiting from the project.

“Hilmar Cheese Company is a solid business and major employer for our area with great career opportunities, a strong commitment to the environment, and a proven track record of supporting our community with many significant donations,” said John Lazar, Turlock City mayor. “We are glad they chose to grow here.”

The manufacturing process will use the most technologically advanced equipment to capture the water in milk for reuse to conserve precious ground water. Water will be recycled, reused and passed through a preliminary treatment before going to the Turlock Regional Water Quality Control facility. Energy efficiencies will follow the company’s direction for energy efficient lighting and use premium efficiency electric motors.

The decision to expand was guided by Hilmar Cheese Company’s original, second and third generation of dairy farm family owners. This group holds steadfast to the founding principle of paying for high value milk and the philosophy that long-term industry success will come from innovation in the marketplace.

“This investment will provide the family dairy farms that supply us milk the opportunity to grow. It allows us to develop new relationships with dairy farmers who produce high quality milk in this region,” commented Richard Clauss, founding owner and chairman of the board of directors. “This project will help strengthen the California dairy industry and provide a nutritious product to serve customer needs.”