MWC: Making Its Whey (and Cheese) in St. Johns

MWC, the new $470 million cheese and whey plant in St. Johns, is continuing successful operations.

MWC, the new $470 million cheese and whey plant in St. Johns, is continuing successful operations. The plant is a combined venture of Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers Inc. Nearby, Proliant Dairy Ingredients is tasked with producing powdered dairy solids used to make animal feed, potables, confectionery and baked products.

St. Johns became the site of the facility because of the area’s increasing supply of high-quality milk, its superior transportation infrastructure, customer access and workforce reputation. Project heads made successful course corrections after construction delays last summer and the plant began receiving milk from local farmers Oct. 20, helping to launch its first day of operations.

MWC expects to employ more than 260 people by this summer, and at full capacity will process more than 2.9 billion pounds of milk from local farmers into more than 300 million pounds of block cheese and 20 million pounds of whey proteins annually.

Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals, thanked corporate and on-site teams, adding, “In addition, I would like to thank the state and city authorities for their continued support and, of course, our great partners, DFA and Select Milk Producers.”

Dennis Rodenbaugh, executive vice president and president of council operations and ingredients for Dairy Farmers of America, added that the plant will “not only play a critical role in the dairy industry in Michigan but will bring value to our family farmer-owners here and across the country.”

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