TWIN FALLS — Gem State Dairy Products says its plant on Washington Street South with create more than 100 milk processing jobs when it opens in 2020.
The company made its formal announcement on Feb. 25, several weeks after it received approval from the City Council to rezone its property for heavy manufacturing. The new 200,000 square-foot facility will be one of the largest aseptic milk processing plants in the country, it said.
“The highly efficient plant will leverage the latest technologies to produce a variety of milk products for its customers,” the company said in a statement.
Construction will begin this summer. Gem State Dairy Products LLC anticipates milk processing to begin in the summer of 2020.
“Idaho is known globally for its high quality and readily available milk supply,” Rick Naerebout, CEO of Idaho Dairymen’s Association, said in a statement. “Gem State will be a welcome addition to the existing milk-processing landscape in Idaho.”
Idaho has more than 20 dairy processing plants, ranking third in the nation in milk production. That state’s roughly 592,000 milk cows produce more than 40 million gallons of milk per day.
“The dairy industry in Idaho can best be described as innovative and forward-thinking,” Dairy West CEO Karianne Fallow said in a statement, congratulating Gem State Dairy on its announcement. “This new facility exhibits those qualities and is poised to serve the emerging needs of domestic and global customers.”
Only 3 percent of Idaho’s milk supply stays in its fluid form. The rest is made into ingredients and products such as whey protein powders, cheese, butter and yogurt. Dairy accounts for more than one-third of Idaho’s agriculture receipts.
Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar said the city was excited to welcome the processing facility to the community as it adds value to the dairy sector and “provides great jobs to support individuals and families in Twin Falls.”
“This vertically integrated bottling facility will be one of the newest and largest aseptic processing facilities in the country,” Gem State Dairy Products spokesman Tom Mikesell said in a statement. “The state-of-the-art facility will utilize the most current technology available to the market. That will allow Gem State to provide its customers with high-quality and lower-cost alternatives for milk and dairy-based beverages.”