The world dairy industry's latest colossal cheese plant hosted a house-warming party last month. Local and state officials were joined by principals from the consortium of parent companies near Clovis, N.M., to celebrate the official opening of Southwest Cheese.

The Southwest Cheese plant, all 340,000 sq ft of it, is now running close to capacity. Ground was broken for the plant in February 2004.

The plant is a $190 million joint venture of Glanbia Foods and the Greater Southwest Agency. The Agency is a cooperative of four milk producers: Dairy Farmers of America, Select, LoneStar and Zia.