Turlock's economic development efforts just got a big boost today, as Hilmar Cheese announced it will be building a milk processing facility in the Turlock Regional Industrial Park.
"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 new facility, which is expected to open in about 18 months, according to Hilmar Cheese spokesperson Denise Skidmore, will add 40 full time jobs to the local economy when completed. The construction will also add economic stimulus to the area with builders, contractors and others benefiting from the project.
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 Kish Rajan, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “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.”
Hilmar Cheese cited Turlock's construction-ready land, proximity to export opportunities through the Port of Oakland, and cooperative city staff as reasons for choosing the Turlock location.
“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.”
“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 Turlock Mayor John Lazar. “We are glad they chose to grow here.”
The manufacturing process at the Turlock facility will use the most technologically-advanced equipment to capture the water in milk for reuse to conserve precious ground water, according to Hilmar Cheese. Water will be recycled, reused and passed through a preliminary treatment before going to the Turlock Regional Water Quality Control facility.
The decision to expand was guided by Hilmar Cheese Company’s original, second and third generation of dairy farm family owners.
“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.”
The new Turlock facility is not the only expansion the company has made in recent years. In 2005, Hilmar Cheese built a facility in Dalhart, Texas, and began processing cheese there in 2007. In 2010, the company began expansion at the Dalhart facility, which is expected to be completed this year.