Gov. Perry Announces Hilmar Cheese Company to Open Factory in Dalhart
Enterprise Fund Investment to Bring Nearly 2,000 Jobs to Texas Panhandle
Gov. Rick Perry today announced that Hilmar Cheese Company, the largest single-site cheese and whey products manufacturer in the world, will build a state of the art cheese factory in Dalhart, bringing nearly 2,000 jobs to the Texas Panhandle over the next decade.
"This expansion will bring 2,000 new jobs to the Panhandle and pump $190 million into the Texas economy thanks to a $7.5 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund," said Perry. "As a rural West Texan, I am particularly proud that this amounts to the largest investment of Enterprise Fund dollars for a rural expansion."
To secure the Hilmar investment over competing locations, the state offered the company a $7.5 million incentive package from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) and additional funding for transportation improvements and workforce training. The state is expected to reap a return of more than 600 percent on its investment.
The company will make a capital investment of $190 million to build a new processing plant in Dalhart that will create new jobs for more than 350 area families. As part of its contract with the state, Hilmar Cheese Company has committed that new independent milk producers and new dairies across the region will create an additional 1,600 jobs over the next 10 years.
Once complete, the facility will have the capacity to process up to 5 million pounds of locally produced milk into high quality cheese and whey products each day, with the potential to double that capacity in the future.
In 2003 the Texas Legislature approved the governor's request for the $295 million TEF to help create new jobs in Texas and recruit new employers, and earlier this year the legislature reauthorized funding for the TEF.
"In less than three years, the Enterprise Fund has helped Texas win projects that will bring 36,000 new jobs to Texas and add $6.7 billion to the Texas economy," Perry added.
As one of California's largest agricultural exporters, Hilmar's Dalhart plant will add to Texas' reputation as the top exporting state in America.
Perry was joined by state representative David Swinford, Dalhart Mayor Kevin Caddell, Amarillo Mayor Debra McCartt, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation President Buzz David, and members of the High Plains Dairy Council.