Valley Milk LLC has been named the winner of the 2019 Food Engineering Plant of the Year award for its new milk powder manufacturing facility in Turlock, Calif.

Designed and built by Shambaugh & Son, L.P., an EMCOR company, the facility processes 2.5 million pounds of milk into powder each day. The facility serves 16 dairies that are part of the five founding families of Valley Milk.

"We see this as a huge honor," says Valley Milk CEO Patti Smith, pointing out that the plant is the result of the company's vertical integration of the dairies owned by the founding families. "It's a true testament to something that's really great."

In addition to the plant's innovative, efficient operations, the project was heavily focused on water and power conservation strategies. California water and energy regulations are among the most restrictive in the country, and the plant not only meets them, but exceeds them in several areas. The plant design and construction also had to comply with California seismic regulations.

"The Plant of the Year award honors companies who set new standards for innovative and sustainable design and construction," says Food Engineering Editor-in-Chief Casey Laughman. "Valley Milk and Shambaugh & Son were clear winners this year due to their commitment to designing and building a innovative, sustainable facility that raises the bar dramatically on what a food processing plant can be."

“This plant is truly a reflection of the quality of the people that came together on both the Valley Milk and Shambaugh & Son sides, working as partners over three plus years, through conceptual design, construction and commissioning and their commitment to each other and the end result,” says Paul R. Meyers Jr., P.E., president & CEO of Shambaugh & Son.

The plant will be featured in the cover story of the April issue of Food Engineering. Valley Milk and Shambaugh & Son will be presented with the 2019 Food Engineering Plant of the Year award at the annual Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference in April.