Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI)
Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) is a dairy marketing cooperative owned by 2,600 Midwest dairy farm families who operate farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members own 10 manufacturing plants and market cheese, butter and powdered dairy products, serving foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers. One of those manufacturing plants is right here in Fayette County, near the community of Arlington. This local plant process only Grade A milk and manufactures Grade A nonfat dry milk (NFDM). The NFDM produced by the Arlington plant is sold to brokers for use as an ingredient for customers all across the globe.
There are 300 farms in the "Arlington Division" and the Grade A milk produced by these farmers is accepted in the plant of a nearby Wisconsin receiving station. The milk from the Arlington Division is mostly processes on site, but some is sold raw to small bottlers in Iowa. The plant's cream is sent to the New Ulm, MN plant for butter production and some even goes to Rochester, MN for ice cream. The plant can process about 1.5 million pounds of milk per day - and like the dairy farms they serve, is operated around the clock, 365 days a year.
The Arlington plant, which is located on Highway 3 just across the highway from Starmont Schools, has been in operation since the early 60s. Currently there are 40 to 50 employees on site working in three shifts to ensure prompt handling of the raw product. The plant also has a small retail area where the public is welcome to stop by and purchase some of the cheese and butters produced by AMPI, as well as additional products produced by AMPI partners and farmers. More about the cooperative can be found on their website: www.ampi.com, but a tastier way to learn about AMPI's products is to stop by and buy a pound or two!