Plateau Magazine https://www.hpj.com
Golden shovels toss the soil as a banner in the background depicts what the Hilma Cheese Factory will look like when it is fully operational on the southern edge of Dodge City, Kansas, on Sept. 30.
As company officials, federal, state and local officials have said, the 160-acre site is already under development as scrapers are seen getting ready for construction and infrastructure that will require a $600 million investment , which will initially create 250 full-time jobs. Gov. Laura Kelly said the project is expected to bring in an additional $500 million in capital investment and 750 jobs in the Dodge City area when construction begins within a few years.
Hilma has facilities in Hilma, California and Dalhart, Texas. Company CEO and president David Ahlem said the Dodge City “stands out” when it decided to develop a third plant. The region’s commitment to labor, transportation and agriculture makes it stand out. In addition, the company has found many community, county, state and federal partners eager to succeed. “We chose Dodge City, and Dodge City chose us.”
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran said the Hilmar plant will have a significant impact on Kansas and southwest Kansas. He said his role is sometimes to make sure the program doesn’t run into roadblocks at the federal level and that funding helps, knowing that housing, child care and workforce training are all paramount. critical infrastructure needs.
A funding bill provides $500,000 to Dodge City Community College to help with workforce development specifically associated with the Hilmar facility.
“We will do everything we can to ensure the success of the company,” Moran said. “Hilmar is good for all Kansasians.”
The company will work with regional dairy producers to provide them with an outlet while setting standards for environmental sustainability, he said, adding that he expects the company to continue to grow.
Board Chairman Jim Ahlem said Dodge City and the surrounding area offer the best talent at high value. Kansas dairy producers welcome Hilmar Cheese, and the relationship will be beneficial.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly called the Hilma Cheese Factory a “landscape-changing project” that is “very important” not only for Dodge City and southwestern Kansas, but for the entire state.
“Southwest Kansas is a great place to do business,” she said.
She also thanked the state’s Secretary of Commerce and Governor David Toland for their tireless work with all parties involved in making the project a success.
Other speakers included Mayor Kent Small and Ford County Commissioner Chris Boyce. Hilmar executives thank these representatives and state-level staff for their time in making the project a reality.
Telling people it was time for groundbreaking work, as Allem announced after his public comments, he had a quip of the day: “Do you know what time it is? Time to get into Dodgers.”
Hilmar Cheese’s route dates back to 1984, when a group of Jersey dairymen from California wanted to develop the market together. Ahlem credits them with being the innovators and risk takers that brought Hilmar to where it is today. Hilmar’s products – cheese, whey and lactose – are available in the United States and more than 50 countries.
Dave Bergmeier can be contacted at 620-227-1822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.