A $90 million expansion at Southwest Cheese will increase its milk processing capacity by a third and bring approximately 50 full-time jobs to the area.

Production at the Clovis plant is expected to increase from 7 million pounds of milk processed a day to 10.5 million pounds and a daily production capacity of 1.1 million pounds of American-style cheese and 70,000 pounds of whey protein powder, according to a press release.

News of the expansion first broke April 2 when Clovis city officials agreed to issue bonds for the company and allow the sale of up to $100 million industrial revenue bonds over a 20-year period.

“The state and community have been great partners in the growth of Southwest Cheese. Their efforts, along with those of the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation have helped to make the dairy industry a force to be reckoned with on the High Plains,” said Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield in the release.

The plant currently employs 240 people.

Plant spokeswoman Brenda Miller said, the increase in production numbers and added employees is a conservative figure.

Expansion at the plant has received support from state and local leaders.

“I am so pleased that we have been able to work with Southwest Cheese over the years, offering job training opportunities, capital outlay and tax incentives. I commend them on their continued effort to grow and create jobs here in New Mexico. We look forward to being the home of the world’s largest cheese plant,” said Gov. Bill Richardson in the release.
Credit: Clovis (N.M.) News Journal