Fallon Milk Market Goes Global - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Fallon Milk Market Goes Global

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It looks more like a high-tech computer operation than anything to do with dairy farmers, and tanker trucks of milk are lined up outside just waiting to unload fresh local milk. Some is from Fallon, some is even from California. Once it's been processed and dehydrated it will be shipped overseas. And within a month it will be in baby bottles and on dinner tables in China.

And not only is it feeding a need in China, it's fueling the local economy too.

"This has just been online a month but it started paying off for the economy when we broke ground a couple of years ago," said Bob Shriver who is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Fallon. "The construction alone put 300-plus people to work here. We used local cement and contractors and supplies as much as we could. And as the dairy industry grows we'll be putting veterinarians to work and livestock suppliers and alfalfa growers. It's a fabulous operation for this area!"

Fallon was selected for its high quality milk and the space it had to grow and develop.

"We could have put it anywhere but this is where they had a good milk source and good proximity to Oakland, California so we could ship it overseas. We are making it to very high standards set by our customers in China. We can ship it other places too but that is our big customer now," said Plant Manager Wesley Clark.

Inside workers wear paper gowns and hairnets and booties to keep it completely clean. And there are miles of stainless steel piping taking milk from trucks to silos and from silos through processing and then it's packed into 50 pound bags that are stacked on palettes.

"This is huge for us," said Hillside Dairyman Pete Olsen. "For years the dairy industry has been tenuous. Now we have a solid future. We'll see the herds increase in size. There are a couple of California dairyman building satellite dairies here in Smith Valley. It will take a lot of milk to keep the plant going. It's a whole game for dairy now."

Written by Erin Breen
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