Litchfield, MN Creamery Cooperative formed
Upon the heels of legislation in Washington, D.C. passing the Cooperative Movement, John Brandt (local dairy farmer) encouraged 11 Creameries to come together to enhance efficiencies and profits for local farmers. The Cooperative Creameries Association, Unit #1, hence First District Association (FDA), was formed.
The first buttermilk drying plant was constructed. Another drying plant would come along in 1942 to dry skim milk. Economic conditions in the mid 1930’s reached a low point. However, all creameries voted to remain open out of dedication to the dairy farmers.
The first bulk milk trucks were purchased and the phasing out of the milk can began. FDA discontinued receiving milk cans completely in 1971. A new whey plant was also under construction.
Cartons of powdered milk were shipped all over the world to such places as Saigon, Rio de Janiero, Bogota, Israel and Tanzania with the caption “donated by the people of the United States” printed in 13 languages.
FDA discontinued manufacturing butter and converted to cheese and whey products.
A new evaporator was installed making FDA the most modern and energy efficient plant in the world, attracting worldwide interest.
A modern six bay milk receiving facility was constructed.
Modernization was the theme in the mid 90’s in which we worked to become fully automated by adding robots like “Oscar” to help modernize the powder packaging line. The Cheese Plant also saw a lot of modernization at this time in which we added onto our cheese cooler, added a new cheese belt and replaced the cheese finishing tables with seven new cheese vats.
Continued growth allows us to add six new cheese towers, four new vacuum chambers as well as a brand new packaging line for our Lactose and Whey Protein Concentrate.
A state of the art laboratory and research center was constructed.
A new 42,000 sq. ft. cheese cooler, central ammonia glycol plant as well as the infrastructure of our new milk processing plant was completed.
We are now able to process 5 million pounds of milk per day with the commissioning of our new Milk Processing Plant, in which we added two new cheese vats and new Whey UF equipment.
An expansion project was completed that allowed us to process 5.5 million pounds of milk per day, with the addition of a cheese tower, a new Cheese Vat and a new Cream HTST and Milk HTST.
Our new state of the art Whey Protein drying plant was commissioned in the Fall of 2018, which includes a new warehouse to store our Protein Powder. We also completed construction on our new Boiler Plant which is home to 4 new boilers.
A three-part expansion project giving us the capability to go from processing 5.5 million pounds of milk per day to 7.5 million pounds was completed. This expansion included a new drive through, 8-bay milk receiving facility, an expansion in our lactose plant and a brand new cheese plant.