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SIBLEY, Iowa | Armed with $150,000 in financial assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Drying and Processing plans to be up and running this summer in what had been the Associated Milk Producers' drying plant.

AMPI idled the 135,000-square-foot dried milk facility three years ago. Osceola County Assessor Sharon Wolters said parts of the building date to World War II.

IDP General Manager Ken Deters, who spent more than 20 years at the Land O' Lakes drying plant in Luverne, Minn., said he began working on the Sibley acquisition more than six months ago, for the Minnetonka, Minn.-based North Central Cos.

Instead of the milk product produced by AMPI, IDP's product is a high-protein animal feed supplement made from porcine plasma, for both domestic and companion animals.

Deters said he hopes to have production of 30 to 40 tons of per month by the end of the year, adding that, "the 30 jobs promised to the IEDA over the next three years is a conservative number."

It will cost $1.3 million.

Osceola County Development Director Kirk Grau said he recalls employment of 60 to 80 at AMPI when he came to Sibley about 15 years ago. Another nearby company, Welden Farms, packaged some of AMPI's production for worldwide retail distribution.

IDP Plant Manager Jim Wiersma worked for AMPI for 38 years before it closed.

The former AMPI plant houses two dryers -- one with three spray heads, the other a larger, five-head unit. Deters said that porcine plasma is sprayed into the ovens under high pressure. "And by the time the atomized plasma product hits the floor, it is dried powder that is conveyed from one end of the dryer to the other, then pneumatically moved to the packing line for bagging," he said.

In addition to the basic dried plasma product, which is marketed under the "HemoTech" brand name, Deters said IDP will also be starting a custom blending line, where it will prepare feed mixes to the specifications of its individual clients through the U.S. and Canada.

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