Officials with Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have announced a year-long project that will increase the workforce and invest millions into new equipment at the company’s Cabool plant.
The 50,000 square foot expansion will add a glass bottling line and bring 45 to 50 new jobs to the region, said DFA senior director of corporate communications Kristen Coady.
A mainstay in the Cabool community for more than 50 years, DFA said the new addition is part of strategic plan to enter that line of the field. Equipment for the project is described costing as much as $30 million, marking one of the largest capital investments ever in Texas County.
The plant currently manufactures beverages in aluminum and steel cans for firms including Starbucks. It employs 125 full-time workers.
“It certainly will be great for Cabool and the area,” said Ron Scheets, Cabool city administrator. “The investment is expected to have several spin-off effects, he said. Construction will last a year, and it will create opportunities for area construction services businesses to capture additional revenue. Scheets also expects an uptick in the housing market.
As part of the project, entities in Texas County offered special taxing incentives to lure the expansion to Cabool. A 75 percent real estate and personal property tax abatement for 10 years was approved. Earlier, the Cabool board of education, Cabool City Council and Texas County Commission approved the tax break for their entities.
“These won’t be minimum wage jobs – they’ll be good paying jobs,” said district 1 associate commissioner John Casey. “That’s going to have a big effect on the county. When I was a kid, it was often said that as General Motors goes, so goes the country. I’ve always thought it was that way with Cabool and DFA.
“The have a tremendous impact on the whole area, but particularly Cabool.”
“We’re pretty excited about this,” said Presiding Commissioner Fred Stenger.
Scheets said efforts to land the project took about three months, and the deal to develop the package went smoothly.
DFA is a national dairy marketing cooperative that is owned by about 14,000 on 8,000 farms in 48 states. It is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products.
Construction is expected to be completed by late next year.
It is the second major manufacturer to announce expansion plans in the last several months. The Durham Co., which operates two plants at the Houston Industrial Park, is expanding its south facility by 30,000 square feet. Construction is well under way on that project.