Say cheese! Hull, IA plant expansion set to move forward - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Say cheese! Hull, IA plant expansion set to move forward

HULL, Iowa (KTIV) -

A year ago, plans to expand the Agropur cheese plant in Hull, Iowa screeched to a halt after money and the water supply fell short.

The lack of federal funding for Hull's connection to the Lewis and Clark water supply made a plant expansion impossible. Thanks to some new connections, those plans may be close to being back on track.

Agropur had hoped to double the size of its facility. And with word the city has come up with two potential water sources, it may soon become reality

"We currently have a plan on paper with Lyon and Sioux [rural water]. We're waiting to see what we have on paper with Rock Valley Rural Water to make a decision on which direction we're going to go. Both are going to provide us with enough water to handle our economic expansion," Aaron Kooiker, Hull City Administrator said.

The demand for cheese is on the rise, and Agropur hopes to help meet that demand. That's good not only for processors, but the region's dairy farmers.

"Because there are a number of buyers of milk in the region, we compete with each other, and because of that we end up providing a very good milk price back to the dairy farmer," Tim Czmowski, General Manager of Agropur Hull Facility said.

The fact that Agropur is growing and has a need for expansion is indicative of the newest trend in dairy: the industry is coming back to the Midwest region for the first time in over 30 years. They say that's not only economically beneficial for this region but also for the nation.

"Being central, there is an advantage in not paying so much in freight, in transporting the products all over the country," Czmowski said.

Once more water starts flowing to the plant, Agropur will still need plenty of milk-enough to sustain a second facility in Hull. When up and running, the company will process milk from about 100 thousand cows per day.

"The demand for the products is there. So if we can meet it with the appropriate amount of milk, we get to capture some of that demand that's worldwide and bring it back here to this region," Czmowski said.

Meaning an economic boom the entire community can savor.

With water agreements expected to be finalized this month, Agropur hopes to have the second facility up and running within two years.

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