A Cheesy Day in Dalhart, Plant Finally Opens - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

News From Our Previous Dalhart Visits

A Cheesy Day in Dalhart, Plant Finally Opens

Hundreds turned out to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Hilmar Cheese Plant in Dalhart today.

"Uh huh, yeah, I like cheese."  That was the response from Dalhart resident Joshua Walton, when asked about what he thinks of his new neighbor.

There was a sense of excitement in the air, as owners of the California-based Hilmar company talked about the new plant.

"I give all the credit to our people we've got a great team to work together
and really accomplish something that's just about unprecedented in the industry to be
up and running in 18 months," said David Ahlem, site manager of the plant.

The plant cost $200 million to build, and will employ around 120 local employees, according to Hilmar. The public also got a chance to tour the plant, in what Hilmar officials say will be the first and last opportunity to enter the plant.

The company had the backing of several agencies at all levels, including the City of Amarillo and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. Hilmar says they will invest $190 million in direct capital into Dalhart.  But that's just the beginning. 

"This cheese plant is going to be so beneficial to this entire region. not only
is it going to be bringing jobs to Darhart and to the region here but it is also blowing
over into Amarillo," said Mayor Debra McCartt of Amarillo. 

McCartt touted the Pacific Cheese Plant in Amarillo as a the economic "trickle down" of the cheese plant.

The plant will employ about 300 workers and will slice, shred and package the 40 pounds block of cheese from Hilmar-Dalhart, according to McCartt.

Cheese production in Dalhart should begin in the coming weeks.  

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