Dairy producer to expand Fort Wayne facility

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Prairie Farms Dairy announced Friday it will expand its facility located at 3400 Lima Road in Fort Wayne in a move directly related to a strategy by the Indiana Department of Agriculture to increase the size of the state’s dairy industry.

The expansion will involve the construction of a 22,500-square-foot addition to its existing production facility. Currently Prairie Farms produces milk, ice cream mix, specialty drinks, cottage cheese, sour cream and dips at the plant. The company will add new processing tanks and systems, production equipment, packaging lines, a cooler and a dry storage warehouse.

Prairie Farms Fort Wayne plant
Prairie Farms Fort Wayne plant

“Prairie Farms has been a part of the Fort Wayne community for 23 years, and we are looking forward to many more,” said Chuck McQuaig, Fort Wayne general manager for Prairie Farms. “We currently employ 117 people, and through this expansion, we are pleased to offer more local jobs. Along with the expansion comes a bigger distribution footprint for us. Once complete, we will ship more Prairie Farms products from coast to coast, and to Central America.”

Prairie Farms is based in Carlinville, Illinois and has 35 manufacturing plants and over 100 distribution facilities in the Midwest.

Construction of the expansion should begin in April and be completed within 18 months. Prairie Farms plans to create eight new jobs in Indiana by 2020.

According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) the announcement marks a milestone for Indiana’s dairy strategy aimed at growing dairy production and processing.

In March of 2016, Walmart announced plans to build a massive dairy facility in Allen County which was also tied to the strategy.