Foremost Farms to close local plant

By  | 

BARABOO, Wis. (WEAU) – A measure to consolidate a business has it planning to close a local plant.

On Friday, Foremost Farms USA announced that it would close its plant on County Road FF in Alma Center permanently on June 30. That facility makes mozzarella cheese. The company says 52 jobs will be lost. It also plans to idle its cheddar cheese plant on County Road U in Waumandee indefinitely. Fifty workers will be laid off indefinitely from that plant.

The company says affected employees can apply for limited openings at other Foremost Farms facilities.
BARABOO, Wis. (FOREMOST FARMS NEWS RELEASE) – In a move to consolidate cheese manufacturing capacity and capitalize on recent investments in its processing network, Foremost Farms USA® announced today that it is integrating cheese production from two plants located in western Wisconsin to its plants located in Appleton, Richland Center, Milan and Marshfield, Wis. On June 30, 2013, the cooperative’s Alma Center, Wis., plant will close permanently and its Waumandee, Wis., cheddar cheese plant will be idled indefinitely. “In recent years, our members have invested over $50 million in our plant system to increase cheese production capacity, maximize throughput and enhance processing capabilities. These investments have grown our processing capacity here in Wisconsin as our members’ milk volume has grown,” explained Dave Fuhrmann, president of Foremost Farms USA. “Last year our members marketed a record 6 billion pounds of milk,” said Fuhrmann. “Even though we are reducing our plant and employee numbers, we are not downsizing the volume of cheese produced by Foremost Farms or reducing our ability to handle our members’ milk. Rather, we plan to further expand Foremost Farms’ cheese production from last year’s record of 525 million pounds to an even greater level.”

The Alma Center plant, located at W12215 Highway FF, produces mozzarella cheese for foodservice markets. The closing will result in the loss of 52 jobs. About 50 employees will be indefinitely laid off at the Waumandee plant which produces American-style cheese (primarily cheddar). The plant is located at S1856 County Road U in the Town of Waumandee.

“We recognize that this decision has a significant impact on the Alma Center and Waumandee employees and these local communities. Our employees are very dedicated and experienced, and we are working to ease the transition as much as possible by offering severance packages to the individuals who are permanently losing their jobs,” said Fuhrmann. The impacted employees can apply for limited openings at other Foremost Farms facilities.

Foremost Farms is currently evaluating sustainable product mix opportunities that will be a good fit for Waumandee’s modern infrastructure.

"We operate in a competitive, global business environment, and we continually evaluate our operational performance, product offerings and services to ensure that we remain viable and relevant for our member-owners and customers," said Fuhrmann.

Milk from Foremost Farms’ member-farms will be directed to other dairy plants owned by cooperative. There will be no changes in terms of milk pick-up, sampling, testing or field service.

Foremost Farms USA (, headquartered in Baraboo, Wis., is a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative with annual sales of $1.7 billion. The nation’s eighth-largest cooperative and number 21 in annual sales among the Top 100 U.S. dairy processors, Foremost Farms is a leading manufacturer and marketer of cheese, specialty whey ingredients, butter and bulk fluid milk to customers around the world.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus