Idaho Milk Products, Jerome, Idaho, said it celebrated the completion of a $30 million expansion and new R&D facility in Jerome with a ribbon-cutting event on Sept. 20, 2019. The project began in October 2018.

Speakers included Daragh Maccabee, Idaho Milk Products’ CEO; Rick Onaindia and Russell Visser, representing the owner group; Dave Davis, city of Jerome mayor; Mike Williams, Jerome city administrator; and Chenchaiah Marella, vice president of research and development. Tours of the new R&D facility were available to the general public, the company said.

“We are very pleased to reach the end of a multi-faceted $30 million-plus project that has been ongoing for the last year,” Maccabee said. “We have increased our capacity by a third, invested in new equipment and automation, expanded our warehouse, upgraded our people facilities and made a step change commitment to innovation and product development.

“The various aspects of the project speak to all the things that we try to do better every day — maximizing our efficiency and throughput, striving to create and maintain a world-class organization, being relevant to our customers and the markets we operate in, and all with sustainability in mind,” Maccabee continued. “All who contributed along the way can be proud of the achievements in the first decade and all of us here today are excited at the potential for the next one.”

The expansion took 266 days and 57,220 man-hours to complete, the company said. With its completion, Idaho Milk Products will be able to process an additional 1 million pounds of milk per day, resulting in a faster turnaround to keep up with customer demands.

“I’m very thankful the ownership group had the vision to invest in this expansion in southern Idaho,” said Joe Henry, vice president of sales and marketing. “This expansion allows us to serve the growing needs of our customers for years to come. Idaho Milk Products is a world-class organization and I’m very excited and welcome the 25 new hires who have joined our family.” 

The new R&D facility includes an impressive list of equipment, Idaho Milk Products said, with the ability to work on and test ready-to-drink beverages, yogurts, ready-to-mix products, ice cream, protein bars, retort processing and more. With this addition, Idaho Milk Products will be able to offer the highest level of formulating possibilities to meet customer needs and keep up with product trends.

“At Idaho Milk Products we have a strong belief in science-based innovation,” Marella said. “With our optimal, proprietary and cold-loop temperature-controlled processes, we are able to produce award-winning world-class milk ingredients.

To continue our investment in innovation we have added new processes, and a state-of-the art pilot plant,” Marella added. “This represents a step-change in our customer collaboration and new product development capabilities, enabling us to provide technical support and application assistance in a timely manner, and with increased levels of confidence and credibility.”