Kemps buys Cass-Clay’s milk operationTwin Cities-based Kemps LLC has purchased Fargo’s Cass-Clay milk processing operation from Associated Milk Producers Inc. Kemps and New Ulm-based AMPI announced the move Monday. Ownership officially changed hands at 12:01 a.m. today. Terms of the sale were not released.
By: By J. Shane Mercer, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Twin Cities-based Kemps LLC has purchased Fargo’s Cass-Clay milk processing operation from Associated Milk Producers Inc.
Kemps and New Ulm-based AMPI announced the move Monday. Ownership officially changed hands at 12:01 a.m. today. Terms of the sale were not released.
The Cass-Clay brand will continue, and no charges are planned for the Cass-Clay Creamery operation at 200 20th St. N., said Rachel Kyllo, a spokesperson for Kemps.
“The Fargo milk processing facility will continue to run as it currently is and consumers will see no change in products,” Kyllo said. “The same great-tasting products will be available in the marketplace.”
Cass-Clay processes milk, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream and other products.
“We’re deeply respectful of the brand and its long-term heritage and its strength in the marketplace,” Kyllo said. “And the brand, frankly, is very well-respected by consumers and will remain in the marketplace.”
In a statement from AMPI and Kemps, AMPI CEO Ed Welch said the “sale allows each company to do what it does best.”
“It allows the dairy farmer-owners of AMPI to focus on maintaining a steady flow of the quality, wholesome milk that is the essential ingredient in making the Cass-Clay dairy products consumers crave,” Walsh said.
The Cass-Clay Cooperative Creamery Association was founded in 1935. Cass-Clay employed 115 local workers in 1949 and had an annual payroll of $400,000. It continued to grow, spending $2.7 million in 1999 to remodel the Fargo plant. The remodeling included larger, higher-speed milk bottling equipment, new cottage cheese vats and fillers, a new cooler and updated loading facilities. AMPI acquired Cass-Clay Creamery in May 2007.
AMPI spokeswoman Sheryl Meshke said AMPI will remain the “exclusive” milk supplier for Cass-Clay products. The plant will be actively managed by Kemps.
“All the AMPI members who had been marketing their milk to Cass Clay will continue to do so,” Meshke said.
AMPI is a dairy marketing cooperative owned by 3,000 dairy farmers. It markets 6 billion pounds of milk resulting in $2 billion in annual sales.
Shane Mercer is a reporter
at The Forum of Fargo-
Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.