2014 Plant of The Year


Help us select the 2014 Plant of the Year! The magazine nominates 12 dairy processing plants that had been featured in Dairy Foods magazine and on dairyfoods.com over the previous 18 months. Voting ends July 6.


Vote now!

The Nominees for Dairy Foods' Plant Of The Year:

HP Hood, Sacramento, Calif. (January 2013)

hp hood

HP Hood fills 600 bottles a minute on its new aseptic line in its Sacramento, Calif., plant. The company processes dairy and nondairy beverages in aseptic and extended shelf life packages.

View article here.

Rhino Foods, Burlington, Vt. (February 2013)

 Rhino Ice cream cookies

Rhino Foods measures everything it does. Employees work to a goal and are rewarded when they meet the targets. Management’s reward is a smooth-running organization that fulfills customers’ needs. At its plant in Vermont, it makes ice cream sandwiches, cookie dough inclusions, brownies and cake pieces.

View article here.

Oakhurst Dairy, Portland, Maine (April 2013)

Chocolate Milk

Oakhurst Dairy processes dairy and nondairy beverages, along with cultured products. It is also notable for its sustainability program that reduces energy and water use.

View article here.

G.S. Gelato, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (May 2013)

GS Gelato

The Italian-born owners of G.S. Gelato bring their recipes and production equipment to Florida’s Panhandle where they make authentic Italian gelato, sorbets and frozen yogurt for retail and foodservice customers.

View article here.

Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wis. (June 2013)

Plant of the year Klondike thumb

Klondike Cheese Co. is a long-time processor of branded and private-label feta, Munster and Havarti cheeses. This year, the Monroe, Wis., manufacturer added a Greek yogurt production and packaging line.

View article here. 

Westby Cooperative Creamery 


westby cottage cheese

Westby is a 110-year-old dairy producer and processor with 170 members who supply rBST-free conventional and organic milk. It has four channels of distribution: private label manufacturing, food ingredients, foodservice (schools, healthcare, restaurants and other institutional users) and retail.

View article here.

Umpqua Dairy Products Co., Roseburg, Ore. (October 2013)

umpqua ice cream filling line

Umpqua Dairy is a full-line processor, making ice cream and frozen yogurt along with Grade A products including milk, eggnog, butter, cottage cheese and sour cream. The dairy received the 2013 Production Excellence Award from Quality Chekd.

View article here.

Smith Brothers Farms, Kent, Wash., (January 2014)

smith brothers farms

In August 2013, the family-owned milk processor moved from a 90-year-old facility into a newer 50,000-square-foot space that puts production, warehouse and corporate headquarters under the same roof. The new plant was designed to be hands-free. The valve matrix has eliminated all breaks and this has reduced the chance of cross contamination.

View article here. 

Kemps ice cream plant, Rochester, Minn. (February 2014)

kemps ice cream

The plant is nearly 219,000 square feet on 10 acres in downtown Rochester. It prepares 52 different ice cream mixes, runs multiple filling lines and makes an estimated 900 products for its own brand, co-pack and private label partners, and foodservice accounts. And it does this all day long, every day of the week.

View article here.


Central Valley Cheese, Turlock, Calif. (March 2014)

central valley cheese

California’s Central Valley Cheese keeps busy by making a wide range of cheeses and cultured dairy products. The dairy products are formulated to appeal to the mainstream American palate, as well as Mediterranean, Hispanic, Indian and South Asian consumers. Customers are foodservice accounts, food processors and private label accounts.

View article here. 

Agropur Natrel USA St. Paul, Minn. (April 2014)


Agropur is thriving in contract manufacturing aseptic and extended-shelf-life (ESL) dairy and nondairy beverages. About half of the plant’s production is in long-shelf-life products. The dairy also processes HT/ST (high temperature/short time) milk in formats ranging from paper half-pints to plastic gallons.

View article here.

The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, Fla. (May 2014)

ice cream club

Scoop shops, restaurants and retirement communities make up The Ice Cream Club’s customer base. The dairy processor offers 176 flavors of ice cream, hard packed yogurt and no-sugar-added, reduced-fat ice cream, most of which are not found in grocery stores. The company also makes 10% and 14% butterfat ice cream mixes, and 70 soft-serve yogurt and ice cream mixes.

View article here.


Vote now!



Image Galleries

Velvet Ice Cream Co., Utica, Ohio

Velvet Ice Cream built its reputation on making premium products that adhere to the standard of identity for ice cream. Its lines consist of premium, all natural, churned (low-fat), no sugar added, novelties, sherbet (in cups and in push-up tubes) and a controlled ice cream brand for grocery store customers.


This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

11/18/14 2:00 pm EST

Product Inspection Fundamentals for the Dairy Industry

On Demand Consolidation in the dairy industry is raising the bar on innovation and driving efficiencies to ensure competitiveness. One area often overlooked is the role that the right product inspection program can play in supporting the organization’s overall business goals and protecting brand reputation. Drawing on best practices in metal detection, X-ray inspection and checkweighing, this session will cover criteria to help determine the right technologies to employ for a given product and packaging type for high-value, perishable dairy products.

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