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.
Embracing automation robots like "Oscar" helped modernize the powder packaging line to increase efficiency.
With the vision of continued growth, FDA gradually expands capacity to handle 3.8 million pounds of milk per day.
A state of the art laboratory and research center was constructed. The decision was made to build new infrastructure and install new equipment, with a vision to process 7 million pounds of milk a day.
A new 42,000 sq. ft. cooler, milk processing plant, central ammonia glycol plant and an expansion of the cheese plant was constructed.
FDA’s vision is to give customers more product, operate under the ideas of continuous improvement, sustainability and maximum returns for the dairy farmers.