MWC Dairy Campus

On Our Whey!

In 2018, Glanbia Nutritionals formed a joint venture partnership with Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers (MWC) to pursue the creation of massive milk processing facility in St Johns, Michigan. The MWC venture broke ground on a 146-acre industrial site in St. Johns fall of 2018. The site broke ground in September 2018 and is quickly taking shape as home to MWC processing facilities, as well as a complimentary Proliant Diary Processing facility, together forming the St Johns Diary Processing Campus.

The MWC JV has invested $470 million into 350,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art facilities to produce a variety of cheese and whey protein products. Lead investor Glanbia is Ireland’s 5th largest company, and the world’s #1 producer of American-style cheddar cheese.

MWC’s facilities are designed to process 8 million pounds of milk every day from the onset, or nearly a quarter of all milk produced in Michigan.

Iowa-based Proliant Dairy Ingredients is constructing an adjacent $85 million 85,000 square foot facility to process liquid whey permeate, a byproduct from the MWC operation, which will be processed into various whey permeate products used in baking, confectionery, drink mixes and animal feed. Proliant’s whey permeate drying facility will be the largest of its type in the world processing approximately 400,000 pounds of dairy solids per day.

The project included unprecedented collaboration among farmers, private investors, state and regional economic developers, local governments and talent-building organizations.


private investment


Jobs Created


Ag Value Add Economic Development Project in Michigan History

Community Impact

The State of Michigan’s $15.7 billion dairy industry is aided by the most productive cows in the nation, with milk production doubling since 2000. While positive alone, this increased productivity has left more than 1,200 dairy farm families around the state on the precipice of collapse, suffering from low prices caused by oversupply. The issue of oversupply is best resolved by bringing more processing to the area, a solution achieved through the St Johns Dairy Processing Campus which is expected to reduce Michigan’s over supply by 80% and reduce distance and transportation costs for Michigan’s dairy farmers. In addition, Proliant’s facility being co-located on the same campus eliminates transportation costs for manufacturing the whey permeate byproducts.

Locally, the project will infuse nearly 300 jobs into the local job market, with average wages anticipated to be $24.67/hour, 15.9% above the region’s average wage.

Funding Mechanisms

List of Funding Mechanisms Used

  • Public Funding

  • Private Funding

Project Partners

  • Glanbia plc
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • Select Milk Producers
  • Proliant Dairy
  • City of St. Johns
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Consumers Energy

Workforce Partners

  • Capital Area Michigan Works!
  • Lansing Community College

August 09, 2018

Project Type



St Johns, Clinton County

LEAP Contact
Keith Lambert
Chief Operating Officer
Project News