Leprino Foods is building a $270 million Mozzarella factory in Greeley, Colo., and is scheduled to add 500 jobs. Colorado dairy farmers are expected to collectively add 80,000 new cows to their herds in coming years and double current milk production to supply the Greeley facility.

The new plant also will solidify the Denver-based company’s stranglehold on the Mozzarella business, that when the Greeley factory reaches full capacity, will produce 2 billion pounds a year. In pizza terms, that’s enough cheese to cover 2.6 billion pies.

Leprino uses a combination of patented and proprietary cheesemaking processes that can convert milk to frozen, shredded cheese in as little as five hours, allowing Leprino to be nimble and make quick adjustments with milk inventories and cheese production. Leprino also is a major producer of whey and lactose - cheese byproducts that are used as protein supplements and sweeteners.