Saputo Dairy's NM expansion finishes years ahead of schedule

Cheese company’s NM expansion finishes years ahead of schedule

Saputo Dairy USA’s New Mexico expansion, which was scheduled to finish in 2026, created 300 new jobs in Las Cruces. (Courtesy of McClure Publications)

The state and locally supported expansion of a cheese and dairy facility in Las Cruces has finished up construction about four years ahead of schedule.

With the expansion, Saputo Dairy USA has created 300 jobs in administration, manufacturing, quality insurance and maintenance, according to Jamie Dickerman, vice president of public relations with Sunny505. The New Mexico-based public relations firm issued a news release on behalf of the city of Las Cruces.

The expansion was initially expected to be completed in December 2026, according to the news release.

Sunny505 told the Journal in an email that the additions included two buildings, a parking lot and an employee breakroom.

A spokesperson for Montreal-based Saputo Inc., the parent company of Saputo Dairy USA, declined to comment on specifics of the expansion. A representative with the city of Las Cruces was unclear on what was included in the buildout, only citing that there were multiple permits issued for the project.

“This is a monumental project for the city of Las Cruces, and we applaud Saputo for their commitment to growth and expansion in Las Cruces,” Las Cruces City Manager Ifo Pili said in a statement. “In addition to creating high-paying, full-time jobs in southern New Mexico, Saputo’s expansion helps us to bolster our agricultural industry and our local economy as a whole.”

Dickerman said in an email to the Journal that hourly pay for the added jobs start at $16 an hour, with the highest-paying annual salary standing at about $100,000.

The facility has 375 employees as of Tuesday, according to New Mexico Economic Development Department spokesman Bruce Krasnow, adding that “the company is exceeding its jobs creation target.”

Saputo had received $2.8 million in state and city Local Economic Development Act investments for the expansion. That includes $2.5 million from the state and $300,000 from the city of Las Cruces in distributions made in June and August, according to Krasnow. Total capital investment for the project stood at $30 million.

The LEDA funds awarded to Saputo is higher than typically distributed for a project of this size, Krasnow said. That’s because the state was incentivizing the project’s development in an Opportunity Zone – an area typically deemed as economically distressed. Hiram Roman-Chavez, Saputo’s director of human resources at the Las Cruces facility, said the expansion made geographic sense for distribution across the country.

“We are close to the border as well as dairies,” Roman-Chavez said in a statement. “And it’s a natural bridge to both California and Wisconsin.”

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