New dairy plant projected to bring $10.6 billion and 600 jobs to Lubbock economy


The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) announced Leprino Foods, a global leader in mozzarella, whey protein and other dairy ingredients, will invest $870 million to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant located on 258 acres in East Lubbock. This represents the largest single private capital investment announced since LEDA’s inception and the 12th largest private capital investment project in Texas since the establishment of the Texas Enterprise Fund in 2003.

“We are excited for the opportunities that the Lubbock region provides, as well as bringing people, processes, and technology together at a new, state-of-the-art facility,” Mike Durkin, president of Leprino Foods Company said. “Furthermore, this new plant will play a critical role in the dairy industry in Texas and will have a substantial regional impact for local dairy farmers across the South Plains to fulfill daily production needs. As we prepare to break ground and hire local talent, we are eager to contribute as a corporate partner to the Lubbock community.”

The company will break ground on the 850,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the summer of 2022. Once the facility becomes fully operational in the spring of 2025, this investment will result in $10.6 billion over the next ten years. Leprino Foods will hire 600 full- time positions to staff the 24/7/365 facility. Positions will range from production operations and maintenance to technical engineers and human resources. The total annual payroll at the facility will be more than $33 million, resulting in an average annual salary of more than $50,000.

“I have gotten to know the Leprino Foods Family over the last two years,” said Lubbock City Mayor Dan Pope. “Leprino will be a great corporate partner. This project will create tremendous opportunities for our citizens and it further demonstrates the strength of our economy. We are thrilled to welcome Leprino Foods to Lubbock. It’s a Great Day in Lubbock, Texas.”

Supported by world-class food safety, operations, training, and maintenance programs, as well as monitored and controlled through leading edge automation and instrumentation, this facility will expand Leprino’s existing network of mozzarella cheese production plants around the world. Roughly 200 trucks per day will be needed to service this facility.

Known as the hub of the region, the agriculture industry is one of the major pillars of the Lubbock economy. This project will produce over one million pounds of cheese daily. The finished products will be distributed throughout the United States and internationally.

Because of their commitment to be environmentally responsible, Leprino Foods intends to allow the excess processed water to be cleaned, filtered and recycled daily as stream quality water flowing into Canyon Lake Number 6, later to be stored in the future 776-acre Lake Seven.

“From the beginning of this courtship, it was evident Leprino Foods shared the same values of West Texas and our commitment to our people and to agriculture,” said John Osborne, President and CEO of LEDA. “In addition to LEDA’s many private partners, this project was especially made possible by the combined efforts of the City of Lubbock, Lubbock County, the State of Texas, Roosevelt ISD and Texas Tech University. On behalf of the board and staff at LEDA, we’re incredibly excited to welcome Leprino Foods to the Lubbock family.”

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