Dodge City selected for cheese, whey production facility

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., on May 5, in a news release jointly announced the company’s decision to build a new state-of-the-art cheese and whey protein processing plant in Dodge City, Kansas. Hilmar Cheese Company, founded in 1984, is one of the world’s largest producers of high quality American-style cheese and whey products, with customers in more than 50 countries.

The new facility is expected to create 247 new jobs and represents $460 million in capital investment. The project is estimated to bring an additional $550 million in capital investment and 750 new jobs within a 50-mile radius of Dodge City by late 2023.

Hilmar Cheese Company CEO & President David Ahlem called Dodge City an “ideal choice” given its central location, critical existing infrastructure, proximity to the growing local dairy industry and business-friendly climate.

“Our first-class workforce and central location make Kansas one of the best places in the nation to do business,” Gov Kelly said. “It’s great to see another major food manufacturer like Hilmar choose to put their trust in our state and Dodge City for their newest facility.”

The state-of-the-art facility will showcase sustainable solutions. Hilmar Cheese Company is a leader in sustainable practices and has adopted the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment and goal to achieve a Net Zero dairy industry by 2050.

“We want our plant to be as good for the environment as it will be for the local economy,” Ahlem said. “We’ll use technologies and sustainable practices to promote carbon neutrality.”

City Manager Nick Hernandez said, “One of the biggest advantages for both Hilmar Cheese Company and Dodge City is the cohesive nature of our sustainability efforts. They have a standing commitment to being stewards of the environment much like Dodge City, and through this mutually beneficial partnership, we will be able to further utilize our wastewater for crop irrigation and biogas production.”