Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Kansas City, Mo., opened a state-of-the-art, $85 million dry milk processing plant in Fallon, Nev. DFA Fallon plant

The plant, which created 45 jobs, currently processes an average of 1.5 million pounds of raw milk per day, and is equipped to process 2 million pounds of raw milk daily. At full capacity, it will produce approximately 250,000 pounds of whole milk powder daily (90 million pounds annually) for leading, multi-national dairy and dairy beverage companies worldwide.

“As a milk marketing cooperative focused on our dairy farmer owners, we have a responsibility and an obligation to explore new options to bring our members greater returns,” says Mark Korsmeyer, executive vice president.

The new plant produces whole milk powder, instant whole milk powder, non-fat dry milk and skim milk powder for reconstituted milk suppliers, nutritional products, dairy applications such as yogurt, ice cream mix and fermented items, confectionery, bakery and processed foods.

Additionally, milk is fully traceable throughout the entire supply chain. From the time a milk truck leaves the farm to when products are put on a ship for export, produces remain in an extremely controlled environment. Milk is tested at the farm, and the tanks hauling the milk are sealed at the farm. Within the plant, milk goes through the manufacturing process, is placed in packaging and secured in export containers. The containers are not opened until they reach the customer. Ingredients—not the milk—travel to California, which means approximately 10 loads of milk a day are now condensed to one truckload of whole milk powder. This reduction in hauling results in annual savings of approximately 152,000 gallons of fuel, equal to 3.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Furthermore, traditional wood pallets are replaced with lightweight slip-sheets in export containers. The plant recycles up to 140,000 gallons per day of water evaporated from milk. Water is treated and re-used for boilers, cooling towers, clean-in-place systems and more.