As the 300,000 square ft. Southwest Cheese Plant, Clovis, N.M., phases in production this year, it will have a major impact on the local milk supply, and one that will ripple across the entire southwest region, according to a local news source.

The Portales News Tribune says the plant will ultimately devour seven million gallons of milk per day, and that demand for raw milk has dairy producers pulling up stakes and moving closer to New Mexico, an area that has already attracted a large number of dairy farmers. DFA estimates that about two dozen dairies have set up shop in Clovis and Portales since the plant was founded, creating a ring of dairies within a 50-mile radius of the cheese company.

In west Texas, herds are growing as well in anticipation of the growth in demand from both Southwest Cheese and the new Hilmar plant that is being built in Dalhart.