FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) milk plant in Garden City, Kansas has recently been named “Sustainable Plant of the Year” by Food Engineering magazine for its new state-of-the-art, 267,000 square foot whole and skim milk powder drying facility, the largest single milk dryer in North America. The award recognizes the plant’s outstanding sustainable engineering features that go above and beyond industry standards, designed and built by Shambaugh & Son, L.P. utilizing the company’s vertically integrated project delivery model.
“We are delighted that the Dairy Farmers of America Garden City plant was selected as 2018 Sustainable Plant of the Year by Food Engineeringmagazine. It is a tremendous honor and a testament to the entire Shambaugh team’s ability to design and complete a highly complex and demanding project,” stated Paul Meyers, Jr., CEO, Shambaugh & Son.
The 156-acre greenfield site in Garden City, Kansas fulfills a key sustainable strategy by providing a local home for farmers’ milk in Southwest Kansas; many local farms were previously sending their milk to other areas of the country. From the moment a tanker truck enters the plant, it takes less than 68 minutes to off-load the milk, clean the truck, and test the milk (while in the past a tanker may be gone for days, now the same tanker returns to the dairy in the same day, thereby drastically reducing hauling and trucking costs, as well as conserving energy and resources).
The highly automated, energy- and water-efficient facility was designed to operate 24/7. Unique features include:
- Advanced bio security, eliminating potential risks through implementation of varying hygiene zones, HEPA filters within the plant, and minimal manual contact with the product.
- Numerous environmental safeguards designed into the system, such as a diffusion tank which allows trace emissions from the relief valve to be captured to ensure no contaminants are released into the atmosphere.
- Onsite waste water treatment plant where water is treated and recycled for irrigation.
- Built-in redundancies that allow the plant to operate continuously.