Darigold breaks ground in Pasco

This project, known as 'Project Cascade', has been in the works since 2019. Darigold said the Pasco facility will be the most sophisticated milk protein facility in North America.

PASCO – Darigold has officially broke ground on its new multi-million dollar dairy production facility in Pasco.

The farmer-owned dairy co-op will be able to process nearly eight million pounds of milk per day, which is supplied by more than 100 family-owned dairy farms in and around the valley. The facility will also need to employ about 200 people from the Pasco area to be fully operational. In total, Darigold officials said this facility will eventually create more than 1,000 onsite and indirect supply chain and service jobs.

“We are a business that has a proud heritage here from the Pacific Northwest,” said Joe Coote. Coote is the chief executive officer of Darigold. “We’re a rural business, we’re proud of that, we’ve had our products go to all sorts of places, all around the world.”

The project, known as ‘Project Cascade’, has been in the works since 2019. The 400,000 square foot facility will sit on 150 acres of the Reimann Industrial Center, which sits just north of the Pasco Processing Center. Darigold officials said the Pasco facility will be the most sophisticated milk protein facility in North America. The facility will produce butter and a new, specialized protein powder that will also be intended for export.

Coote said the company couldn’t do it without its farmers and support from the community of Pasco.

“With our farmers’ vision and with Stan’s vision, we are now realizing a transformation strategy that is very ambitious,” Coote said.

The Port of Pasco used tax increment financing to secure the expansion of Darigold in the Reimann Industrial Center. This funding allows local governments in the state to fund public infrastructure.

“In order for Darigold to build in the Reimann Industrial Center, which is currently farmland, an estimated $21 million worth of infrastructure is required,” said Randy Hayden, Port Executive Director. “Installing that infrastructure called for creatively securing funding from several sources. We are fortunate that TIF became available in this state and that we were able to be one of the first to be approved to utilize it.”

Darigold officials said the facility is expected to be fully operational by 2024.