OVID, Mich.–Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) recently took home top honors from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) annual meeting, being named the 2010
Plant of the Year by Dairy Foods magazine. The award caps off an exciting year for the plant which recently completed a two-year, $62 million renovation project.
The investment made by the dairy farmer owners of MMPA increased daily processing capacities to nearly 5 million pounds and expanded the production capabilities at the Ovid facility. The expansion included a $27 million tower dryer, $7 million in mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) equipment and $28 million in receiving, processing, utility and warehousing improvements and additions.
Being named plant of the year was an unexpected, yet welcome award for the cooperative, which ranks 59th on the magazine’s Dairy 100 list of the nation’s processors. MMPA General Manager Clay Galarneau traveled to IDFA’s annual meeting to accept the award.
“It is a real honor to be recognized by this group of processors,” Galarneau says. “Our members have made a significant investment in our processing facilities and we are proud of the improvements made at Ovid. We believe this investment will benefit our dairy farmer owners for many years.”
The changes made at the plant were spurred by increasing milk production in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Faced with additional volumes of milk, MMPA members had to choose between investing in their own facility or sending the milk to neighboring states.
“Our members saw the need for the plant expansion and backed it with a 10 cent per hundredweight equity retain,” says MMPA President Ken Nobis. “Our members see a strong future in Michigan’s dairy industry and our facilities need to be able to keep pace with our members’ production and customer needs.”
Products made at the Ovid facility include cream, condensed milk, butter and powdered milk that are sold as dairy ingredients to a wide variety of food manufacturers.
“You don’t see the MMPA label in the store, but when you eat pudding, yogurt, cookies, ice cream and many other foods, chances are you are enjoying ingredients made at the MMPA manufacturing facility,” Galarneau comments.
The MMPA Ovid manufacturing plant is owned and operated by Michigan Milk Producers Association, a milk marketing cooperative owned by approximately 2,100 dairy farmer members throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. Headquartered in Novi, Mich. MMPA employs about 200 people. MMPA has another manufacturing facility in Constantine. In 2010, MMPA marketed over 3.9 billion pounds of milk.