The company, called Valley Milk, expects to start operations in late 2017. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday at the facility’s future site at 400 N. Washington Rd in the Turlock Industrial Park.
“It’s going to be a state of the art, environmentally sustainable plant,” said Valley Milk Board Chairman Don Machado.
Valley Milk was founded by five local dairy families: the Machados, TeVeldes, Vander Schaafs, DeJagers and the Kelleys. There are also two nutritionists, Matt Budine and Brian Sundberg and veterinarian, Dr. Schcolnik from Progressive Dairy Solutions, who are part of the founding group.
The company said the facility would provide well-paying jobs for the community.
“We’ll have dryer operators, wet mix operators, warehousing,” said CEO Patti Smith. “So, we’re looking for people with technical capability, also a lot engineering knowledge and also administrative support.”
Smith said the new plan was designed with California’s water issues in mind. Recycled water will cover about 87 percent of the facility’s needs.
“We’ll be extracting the water from the milk as part of our drying process,” Smith said. “We’re going to recycle that.”
The powdered milk the plant will make will be used as an ingredient in other foods. It will also be shipped around the world, including to under-developed countries where it will be used as a source of protein.
Machado said the company had exporting in mind when it chose Turlock as the site for the new plant.
“Turlock is a very good location for us. It’s centrally located for our dairies. Our dairies range from Stockton to Chowchilla. And it’s easy, quick access to the Port of Oakland,” he said.