Michigan Cheese and Whey Production Facility Up and Running
Michigan is one of the top milk producing states and now that milk has another place to go!
Last November Michigan’s largest food processing facility, MWC, opened in St Johns. It is a joint venture between Glanbia Nutritionals, Select Milk Producers and Dairy Farmers of America and will make approximately 800,000 pounds of cheese every day. That is 1 million gallons of milk!
Cheese consumption in the U.S. is on the rise. Per capita cheese consumption has increased to 40 pounds per person annually. Did you know Michigan is 6th in the nation in milk production? Historically, about 35% of the milk produced in Michigan has been exported to different states for cheese production. The great news is this new facility will now be able to use high quality Michigan milk to make cheese. This is a win for dairy farmers as it will lower their transportation costs.
Another win is that MWC also produces whey protein. Whey is a byproduct of cheese production and is a source of protein. In years past, this liquid was discarded through sewage or put on farmer’s fields. Through research conducted by large dairy universities, the myriad of health benefits of whey was uncovered. These include helping maintain healthy weight, curb hunger, build lean muscle, enhance recovery after exercise reduce muscle loss during aging. Now whey protein can be found in a large variety of foods, including sports beverages, meal replacements and even cereal!
MWC will produce 20 million pounds of whey protein powders annually.
This new whey production facility is an example of one of the many ways the dairy community works hard to make a positive impact on the environment while nourishing all people. It also brings economic development to Michigan with around 260 jobs. Michigan dairy farm families are committed to being part of the solution to more sustainable food systems, which means a healthier community, a greener planet and a flourishing economy.
For more information about MWC, visit here.