Daisy to Invest in New Iowa Plant

Daisy Brand to Invest in Iowa Dairy Processing Plant

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
Connect with Chris:
Texas-based Daisy Brand, the country's largest producer of sour cream, as well as a major cottage cheese seller, will build a new $626.5 million processing plant in central Iowa. (DTN file photo with logo courtesy of Daisy Brand)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Iowa officials on Friday announced one of the country's largest dairy processors of sour cream and cottage cheese will build a $626.5 million processing facility in central Iowa.

Daisy Brand LLC will build a 75,000-square-foot facility in Boone, Iowa, that could expand to employ as many as 255 people.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board approved $7 million in direct financial assistance, as well as other tax benefits for the company.

"Daisy Brand's investment in Iowa further reinforces our standing as a manufacturing powerhouse and reputation for fostering an environment where businesses succeed and grow," said Gov. Kim Reynolds. "With a third of the nation's top food manufacturers located in Iowa and 26% of our manufacturing industry attributed to food processing, Iowa and Daisy are a perfect fit. From our dairy industry and farmers to our skilled workforce, there is no better place for Daisy to expand, and I am confident the company will continue to flourish in our great state."

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that the total state and local incentives package to get the plant is $67.2 million. That includes the $7 million forgivable loan, a $1 million investment tax credit and future refunds of $10.2 million on sales and use taxes. That goes along with another $49 million in a local property tax exemption, the Register reported.

The Register reported Daisy will have to guarantee at least 55 jobs paying an average salary of $28.85 an hour, as well as providing health insurance to employees.

Mike Naig, Iowa's secretary of agriculture, applauded the IEDA's decision to support the new processing plant. He indicated the Daisy plant will provide more processor competition for Iowa dairy farmers.

"Daisy's announcement is good news for the city of Boone, the State of Iowa and our state's dairy farmers. Daisy is joining an already impressive and well-established group of dairy processors in our state, and this new state-of-the-art sour cream and cottage cheese plant will provide Iowa's farmers with yet another good option to market their milk," Naig said. "Whether it's our investments in small-scale dairy processing through Choose Iowa or Iowa Economic Development Authority's significant support for this new plant, we welcome projects of all sizes. Consumers and farmers alike benefit from adding value to the commodities we produce, including milk, and as Secretary, I want to see our state continue to look for even more opportunities to build markets through additional processing capacity."

Iowa ranks 12th nationally in the number of milk cows at around 240,000, according to USDA.

A 2020 map from Iowa State University of dairy production in Iowa showed larger dairy counties are mostly concentrated in northeastern and northwestern parts of the state, while Boone is in central Iowa.

Mariah Busta, executive director of the Iowa State Dairy Association, said she did not have any specifics about milk procurement plans for Daisy.

"This is a great opportunity to expand Iowa's milk market and provide consumers with even more access to dairy products made right here in Iowa," Busta said.

Daisy, which is the country's biggest seller of sour cream, is headquartered in Dallas, Teas, and has processing facilities in Garland, Texas, Casa Grande, Arizona, and Wooster, Ohio.

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on social platform X @ChrisClaytonDTN

Chris Clayton