LITTLEFIELD, Texas (KCBD) - After the devastating closing of the American Cotton Growers denim mill in 2015, the facility has come back to life producing food ingredients and employing some formerly laid-off workers.
“It’s good to be up and running,” Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC President and General Manager Steven Cooper said. “Our people are getting trained. We have a good work force here, a lot of people from the Littlefield area. Actually, a lot of people that came from the former denim plant are working for us. They’re still learning a lot of things but it’s running really well and we are moving a lot of product out of the plant. It’s kind of nice to be in operations mode.”
Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC fired up its new plant in March of 2019. It was soon after the announcement of the closure of the denim mill that another announcement came. That was that a new dairy operation would take over the property.
CDFS invested $280 million in the conversion of the property and $28 million for a wastewater treatment plant.
“I think the community has really come out and supported us and we’ve gotten a great group of employees here at the plant,” Cooper said. “It’s been a good startup. This is one of the best startups we’ve ever had as far as commissioning the plant and getting up and running.”
Cooper said the facility operates with 113 employees with even more indirect jobs like milk truck drivers, farm workers and even packaging suppliers in Lubbock.
CDFS brings in about 80 truck loads of milk a day to convert to dry milk or butter. These products are purchased by food manufacturers to be used in things like yogurt, whip cream, ice cream or cheese.