MWC Receives 2021 Dairy Foods Dairy Plant of the Year Award

Dairy Foods magazine has named MWC, a state-of-the-art cheese and whey plant in St. Johns, Michigan, the recipient of the 2021 Dairy Foods Dairy Plant of the Year Award. 

According to Dairy Foods: “To win the award, the plant must have achieved outstanding accomplishments in one or more of the following categories between Jan. 1, 2020, and June 1, 2021: plant expansion/retrofit, new construction, sustainability food safety, employee safety, employee training programs, plant efficiencies, coronavirus-related efforts, new technology and/or other specified area(s) of excellence. The plant, which is a joint venture among Glanbia Nutritionals, Select Milk Producers Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA), not only demonstrates excellence in one of our nomination categories, but also boasts accomplishment in nearly all of them.”

“We are deeply appreciative of Dairy Foods bestowing this award to MWC,” said George Chappell, vice president of dairy operations at Glanbia Nutritionals. Tom Tench, chief operating officer at Glanbia Nutritionals, added, “We set out to create a best-in-class dairy processing facility in St. Johns, and it is an honor to be recognized for that achievement.

The nearly 400,000 square-foot facility is operated by Glanbia Nutritionals and employs nearly 260 local residents and processes over 2.9 billion pounds of milk from local farmers into more than 300 million pounds of superior quality block cheese and 20 million pounds of valued-added whey proteins each year.  Opened in October 2020, the plant was fully commissioned on June 1, 2021.  

Design and construction of MWC was provided by Shambaugh & Son LP, a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc. “We knew from the start that this project would utilize some of the newest and most sophisticated technology the food processing world has ever seen,” said Paul R. Meyers, Jr., P.E., president and CEO of Shambaugh. “We also knew it would utilize some of the largest food processing equipment installed to date.”   

Summarizing the project, Brian Phelan, CEO at Glanbia Nutritionals said: “We are proud to have built one of the most technologically advanced dairy plants in the world. I would like to thank the entire Glanbia Nutritionals team who worked tirelessly to deliver this project from the construction phase through to commissioning, as well as our construction partners Shambaugh & Son LP who were key to supporting our overall project delivery. Finally, I would like to thank the state and city authorities for their continuous support and of course, our great partners, DFA and Select Milk Producers.”

Read more on why MWC was selected for the honor in Dairy Foods.

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