Dairy Farmers of America to idle Lovington, N.M., cheese plant

April 11, 2007

Kansas City, Mo. - Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) announced that effective today, operations at its Lovington, N.M. Cheese Plant, will be idled. The plant has been jointly owned and operated by DFA and the Greater Southwest Agency.

Open since 1995, the Lovington plant produces 65 million pounds of 40-pound block cheddar cheese annually. Going forward, production will be transferred to other DFA plants.

The announcement comes after years of repeated efforts to stimulate successful operations, including periodic adjustments to the production schedule and an expansion to help the facility better accommodate increased volume. Despite these efforts, the plant has failed to achieve a financially viable status.

“DFA believes strongly in its commitment to its membership and in its responsibility to operate profitably,” said David Jones, chief operating officer of DFA’s Southwest Area Council, which supplied milk to the plant. “The decision to idle the Lovington plant reflects our commitment to eliminating economic vulnerabilities within our business structure.”

DFA members will experience minimal impact from the plant idling. Milk formerly marketed to the Lovington plant will be absorbed at DFA’s other facilities, and no change to hauling rates for member dairymen is planned as a result of this idling.

As a result of the plant being idled, approximately 60 employees will be terminated. A comprehensive effort is underway to ease the burden on workers and their families, including complimentary career and education counseling services.