UPDATED: Gov. Eric Holcomb attends grand opening of Fort Wayne Walmart milk processing plant
Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.
Fort Wayne’s new Walmart milk processing plant in southern Allen County is adding 300 jobs to the economy.
Gov. Eric Holcomb sampled some milk Wednesday at the new facility at 2150 W. Pleasant Center Road, which starts bottling this summer. The plant will produce the company’s Great Value brand white and chocolate milk for nearly 500 Walmart stores in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.
In 2015, a consultant on the state’s strategy to build up its dairy industry recommended another milk processor that could use 1-2 million pounds of the 4 million pounds of milk that dairy farmers have to ship out of the state to find markets. Construction on the 250,000-square-foot milk processing plant began in 2016.
Milk may do a body good, but a processing plant in Indiana is doing good for the Hoosier State economy. The new plant will get milk from 25 farms in Indiana and Michigan. It also has created 300 Hoosiers jobs, 200 of them for Walmart in the milk processing plant and another 100 third-party employees to transport the plant’s whole, 2%, 1% and skim milk as well as 1% chocolate milk for Walmart’s Great Value brand, according to a news release.
In conjunction with the opening of this facility, Walmart gave $10,000 in grants to local organizations that focus on the future of agriculture including $1,500 checks to Heritage and Carroll high schools’ FFA programs and $2,500 to United Way of Allen County.
Allen County has about 2,100 dairy cows, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. In northeast Indiana, LaGrange has about 13,000 dairy cows and Adams an estimated 8,800.