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AMPI Sanborn cheese plant

Producing award-winning cheese, such as the mild cheddar shown above, is why officials at Associated Milk Producers Inc. were confident about approving a 13,000-square-foot addition to the company's Sanborn, Iowa, plant that recently went online.

SANBORN, Iowa -- New equipment and technology at the Associated Milk Producers Inc.’s (AMPI) Sanborn, Iowa, plant will more than double production of award-winning cheese to meet customer demand.

Sanborn plant employees are now making cheese using eight new vats located in an recently completed expansion to the facility.

The improved cheese-making technology will increase the amount of cheese made from every pound of milk processed. The varieties of cheese produced will grow to include Monterey Jack, Colby and marble Jack.

The expanded facility features increased automation to boost efficiencies. Upgrades to the plant’s whey processing and storage area are expected to wrap up in March. Once completed, the plant’s processing capacity will more than double, and daily cheese production will tally about 300,000 pounds.

The AMPI Sanborn team made history in 2016, earning first place Mild Cheddar honors in the World Dairy Expo Championship Cheese Contest for the third consecutive year. The Sanborn cheesemakers produce blocks of Cheddar cheese weighing nearly 700 pounds — known in the industry as 640s — which are then sold to customers and packaged as cubes, slices, shreds, bars or snack sticks.

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