Dean Foods plant closing in Thief River Falls

Dean Foods plant closing in Thief River Falls Click to Enlarge

THIEF RIVER FALLS - In a certified letter to the mayor, Dean Foods dairy processing plant in Thief River Falls announced that it will be closing.

The plant, which also processes milk for Land O'Lakes, will close by October 15 2018, according to a notice filed Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The company is laying off employee in rounds, with the first round of layoffs coming last week. Layoffs will continue through the summer until the plant is closed.

Some of the affected employees are represented by Teamsters Local 120 in Fargo. Union spokesman Brian Nowak says while production workers at the creamery will lose their jobs, those involved in the sizeable distribution route for Dean Foods dairy products will not.

He says while a final decision has not been made, milk shipped for distribution out of Thief River Falls may come from a Dean dairy plant in Bismark, ND or Woodbury, MN.

For producers across northwestern Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota who supply milk to the Thief River Falls plant, the closure will mean higher shipping costs to other processing locations.

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