DFA recognized for contribution to Nevada communities

Written by Christine Bush

In recognition of exceptional performance and innovation, Dairy Farmers of America’s (DFA) Fallon, Nev., facility recently received the Homestead Award for the Best Agriculture Initiative from the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA). The award is part of NNDA’s annual Pioneer Awards celebrating excellence in the Sierra Region of Nevada.

“We are honored to receive this award and appreciate the support of the communities surrounding the facility,” said Wesley Clark, plant manager at the Fallon facility. “This plant helps DFA meet the needs of domestic and global customers, brings value to our farmer-owners and presents opportunities to them as well. The demand created by the facility gives local operators the option to expand their dairies and plan for generations to come.”

In addition to exceptional performance and innovation, the award honored DFA’s focus on sustainability. With energy and water conservation efforts throughout the manufacturing process, DFA’s Fallon plant leaves a minimal carbon footprint and uses fewer natural resources. The plant also boosted employment in the area. Currently, the plant is providing 41 full-time jobs.

The Fallon dairy processing plant is DFA’s first greenfield building project and is the first of its kind in the United States. Careful planning focused on building the facility to the highest technical standards, allowing ingredients to be customized to customers’ exact specifications and producing powder on demand to feed families in the United States and around the world. The facility began receiving milk in April 2014 and manufactures 250,000 pounds of whole milk powder a day at full capacity. The powder is used in products such as beverages, nutritional bars, yogurt, ice cream mix and reconstituted milk, a convenient form of milk used when refrigeration or the supply of fresh milk is limited.

DFA member Dirk Vlot and his family also were recognized for expanding their operation and bringing Smith Dairy to the Sierra Region. The milk produced at Smith Dairy will help the Fallon plant meet production demand.

Sierra Region of Nevada comprises Carson City, Churchill County, Douglas County, Storey County and Lyon County.