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LAKE NORDEN, SD-Davisco Foods International says it plans to invest $40 million to build a mozzarella cheese plant adjacent to its food ingredient plant here in what company officials call one of the largest dairy production expansion projects in the Midwest in decades. Land O’Lakes, based in Arden Hills, MN, will market the cheese produced at the new plant and partner with privately-held Davisco Foods International in milk procurement for the plant.

Construction on the new project will start early next year and take about 15 months to 18 months to complete.

Le Sueur, MN-based Davisco’s existing Lake Norden facility currently processes whey, a by-product of cheese manufacturing, to produce specialized food ingredients, including whey protein isolates. The isolates have numerous applications, such as sports andnutritional supplement drinks.

The new project will create 60 new jobs at the onset, and ensure current operations at the food ingredient plant remain ongoing. The company currently has 90 employees at itsLake Norden facility, which Davisco Foods has operated for 18 years.

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