A dairy co-op in the state is planning a $24-million expansion project at a plant in the region.
The Novi-based Michigan Milk Producers Association, or MMPA, a farmer-owned co-operative and dairy producer serving more than 1,700 farmers in the Midwest, plans to add a new 7,500-square-foot processing area to its facility in Constantine, at 125 Depot St., according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation this week.
The project — which will increase milk processing capacity at the plant by 1.3 million pounds per day — is expected to create 11 jobs.
MMPA General Manager Joe Diglio said the organization is expanding capacity at this facility to support processing needs due to increased milk production in Michigan.
The MMPA chose to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Indiana.
“The dairy industry is vital to our state’s economy and the largest part of the agriculture sector in Michigan,” Diglio said. “This investment will help support Michigan’s economy and the needs of our dairy farmer member-owners.”
In 2017, the loss to Michigan milk producers due to the lack of available processing space was more than $164 million, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, or MDARD.
Michigan ranks fifth in the nation for total annual milk production, with dairy cows in Michigan producing 10.9-billion pounds of milk, according MDARD.
Currently, more than 24 percent of Michigan milk production, or 2.65-billion pounds, is shipped out of state per year.
The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $122,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support the project.
The Village of Constantine is considering a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project.
Founded in 1916, the Michigan Milk Producers Association serves dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.
It operates two plants in Michigan that produce butter, non-fat dry milk, cream and condensed skim milk.
The co-op supplies more than 1-billion pounds of milk annually to local bottlers to fill the milk jugs found on grocery store shelves.