Gossner Foods, Logan, Utah, says it will spend $40 million to convert a shuttered J.R. Simplot potato plant in Idaho to a Swiss cheese and whey operation. Plans call for the facility to open by October 2005.

J.R. Simplot Co. will continue to use its frozen food distribution center and ancillary buildings. Its processing facilities shut down beginning in 2002. Gossner has signed a 40-year lease for the property. The plant had been donated to a local government agency, with the idea that it might be redeveloped.

Gossner Foods is one of the largest Swiss cheese producers in the United States specializing in Swiss and Muenster cheeses.