FALLON, NV - It is said to be a game changer for agriculture in northern Nevada. A milk processing plant that will that will provide a steady stream of income to farmers who's business growth was previously limited by demand.
Earlier this month, a brand new powdered milk plant was opened in Fallon. On the surface the project has added 45 jobs to the area, but those are just the people that actually work on the processes and machinery inside the factory. The economic impact goes far beyond because there is now and increased demand for milk in northern Nevada, and that means more cows.
"A study was done through dairy farmers of america that this was the appropriate location," said Wesley Clark, Manager of the new facility.
Right now, a lot of the milk produced in northern Nevada is sent to California. The opening of the plant means that product will stay here.
"And it is outside dollars that are coming in to our community and it is very very important in our community," said Norman Frey, a former Churchill County Commissioner.
This project means big money for Nevada ag because nearly all of the product will be exported overseas.
"Our focus to produce product in this plant is focused on the china customers," said Clark.
The plant can accept 2 Million pounds of milk, 7 days a week. That translates to a need for an additional 15,000 cows in northern Nevada.
"For every 100 cows, there will be a new job in town," said Frey.
No matter how you look at it, this is a big boom to the economy.
"The big thing for us is the long term security. We have a home for our milk that we know is going to be there for a long time," said Pete Olsen, a dairy farmer in Fallon.
After years of stagnant growth, the new facility is finally allowing Olsen and other farmers to expand their production.
"We expect to increase our herd by about 25 percent," said Olsen.