New Garden City plant promises continued growth for local economy

GARDEN CITY, Kan. More jobs could be coming to Garden City as a new powdered dairy plant is promising growth in the local economy.

Garden City City Manager Matt Allen tells Eyewitness news the new plant has already brought some economic growth to the city. The plant expands the local dairy industry, a topic Allen says, has been ongoing for decades.

"Probably 30 years ago, there was interest on the part of the community and economic development leaders at the time to really focus on the dairy industry and see if they can recruit dairies to Western Kansas with the hopes of someday having enough volume to have a processing plant," Garden City City Manager Matt Allen says.

Friday, a Dairy Farmers of America plant opened in Garden City. The plant produces whole and skim milk powder. Construction on the facility began in October 2015. DFA says their first load of milk was delivered in late September. So far, the plant has brought 66 new jobs to Garden City and Allen expects that number to grow.

"One of the first projects to come along in the wake of the the DFA plant is Mies Trucking and they're opening and operating now too, located in close proximity to the plant," Allen says. "They take all of the trucking responsibilities and that has over 100 employees."

The DFA says the plant receives about four million pounds of milk per day from regional farmers, a local boost that's expected to continue to benefit southwest Kansas.