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Hughson dairy plant to close, affecting 34 jobs
Dairy Farmers of America Hughson plant
The Dairy Farmers of America announced Wednesday that it will be idling its plant, a part of the Hughson community since 1911. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/The Journal

Dairy Farmers of America, a national milk marketing cooperative owned by family dairy farmers, has announced that it plans to idle its Hughson manufacturing plant on Sept. 14.

The action to close the former Hughson Creamery – around since it was built in 1911 – will affect 34 jobs.

“This was a difficult decision, but we have a responsibility to our dairy farmer-owners to operate financially sound businesses that bring them additional returns on their investments in the Cooperative,” said Gary Stueve, DFA’s Chief Operating Officer, Western Area.

The decision was made “after a careful review of its manufacturing operations and due to changing market conditions,” said a prepared press release.

“Business decisions that impact people’s lives are never easy. The employees at this facility have done an excellent job producing quality dairy ingredients, and we appreciate their hard work and dedication.”

DFA said it will work with the union and employees to help them through the transition.

Additionally, DFA is already working with local agencies to identify employment opportunities and job placement services available.

The DFA manufacturing plant in Hughson produces condensed milk, cream and dry milk powder. DFA has owned the facility since the Cooperative’s formation in 1998.

Jaylen French, the City of Hughson’s Community Development Director, said the city had heard rumors for a while but only learned about the closure on Wednesday.

“You mention the number of jobs, which is big,” said French. “It’s sort of a historical and cultural landmark of the city which will have a big impact and a financial downside to some of our sewer enterprise funds.”