Walmart announced plans to build a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne back in 2016. Now the big box retail chain is opening the doors to Indiana’s newest milk processing facility.
Governor Eric Holcomb joined Walmart executives and the Allen County Board of Commissioners to announce the opening of the two hundred-fifty thousand square foot facility.
Walmart U.S.A.’s executive Vice President of Food Charles Redfield greeted the crowd and said the facility will create about 300 new jobs once it’s at full capacity.
“This specific plant it’s going to help us provide really high quality milk at really low prices. You know it’s also making positive impacts not only to customers here in the state but also the workforce and the economy,” said Redfield.
Allen County Commissioner, Therese Brown, says the commission and local government want to be a gateway for large businesses. They aren’t focusing on creating jobs but instead they are focusing on creating a climate that creates jobs.
“This signals an opportunity that Allen County is, continues to be and will continue to the future to be open to economic development and the creation of more and more jobs,” said Brown.
Tina Dirksen along with her husband are the owners of Next Generation Dairy in Berne, Indiana. They are the first personal dairy farm to supply milk for the facility.
“It did kinda fall in our lap. I feel very fortunate that Walmart approached us. But it also provides a steady opportunity for us to provide milk locally,” said Dirksen.
The new plant will produce Walmart’s Great Value milk. It will be distributed to stores in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.
Governor Holcomb said Walmart will not regret selecting Allen County, Indiana. He says Indiana and Walmart share the same vision.
“To look over the horizon and say how are we going to continue to improve in order to best serve, as the state of Indiana, the taxpayer and our citizens. All 6.6 million of them,” said Holcomb.
Walmart also took advantage of the opening to make a contribution to local organizations.
United Way of Allen County, Allen County 4-H Club, Future Farmers of America at Carroll, Heritage and Woodland High Schools were each given a total of $10,000.
Walmart says the organizations received the money because they focus on the future of agriculture.