Northeastern Iowa was shaped by the glaciers and the Mississippi River, which makes up its eastern border. The landscape here defies the stereotype of Midwestern flatness. Rolling hills yield unexpected delights for motorists negotiating the winding county roads. In Clayton County, as U.S. Highway 18 curves west just outside of Monona, silos appear on the horizon. These are the tallest structures in the county and they belong to Swiss Valley Farms, which operates a cheese and whey powder manufacturing facility in Luana, population 241.
The Luana plant runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Swiss Valley Farms considers this to be the flagship among its six facilities. Others are in St. Olaf, Iowa; Minnesota (Spring Valley and Faribault) and Wisconsin (Mindoro and Shullsburg).