Milk co-op plans processing campus


Foremost Farms USA is based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Photo via

A milk processing co-operative plans to build a dairy processing facility in the region.

Baraboo, Wisconsin-based Foremost Farms USA said last week it closed on the purchase of 96 acres of vacant property at 0 N. Backus Rd. in Greenville for a multi-phase “campus.”

“Greenville is located just 30 miles west of the center point of our member milk in Michigan,” said Michael Doyle, president and CEO, Foremost Farms USA. “It is an ideal location for us, and we look forward to moving ahead with a future dairy processing facility.”

Foremost Farms USA is a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing co-operative with members in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio.

The co-operative is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and other Michigan and Greenville entities to shape the plans for the site, which was most recently a potato field.

A representative for Foremost Farms said the cost of the project has not been determined, as negotiations are still underway with state and local officials.

The project is contingent on receiving state and local incentives and approvals, including a long-term wastewater-treatment solution.

Once it is given the green light, Foremost Farms expects the facility to be operational in 12 to 14 months.

It would receive up to 6-million pounds of raw milk for processing each day and would initially process milk solids for use in farmer-owned production facilities in the upper Midwest and for sales to customers and “strategic alliance” partners.

Phase one of the project would provide the base to start a dairy processing campus at the site. Phase two could potentially include “value-added production facilities” built in alliance with other companies.

Doyle said the project is another step forward in working with Foremost Farms’ Michigan partners.

“It is our goal to continue to work with our strategic partners/alliances — like we have established in the region with Michigan Milk Producers Association (in) Constantine — to maximize dairy farmer investments, stabilize the regional milk market and add value for all producers in this market,” Doyle said.

Foremost Farms

Headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Foremost Farms USA has about 1,400 dairy farmer members and annual sales of $1.5 billion. 

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