Lanco Dairy Farms has expanded its presence in Maryland and established a cheese-making operation in Washington County, where it plans to add 15 new jobs over the next two years.
The company invested more than $24 million to acquire and refurbish the former Saputo Inc. cheese facility, located on Warfordsburg Road in Hancock. Lanco currently has 74 employees, including some workers who were displaced when the Saputo facility closed in 2014. The company has submitted a notice of intent and is among the first to start the application process under the More Jobs for Marylanders Act, the centerpiece of Governor Larry Hogan's 2017 Maryland Jobs Initiative, which provides tax incentives to new and existing manufacturers in the state that create jobs.
"Our administration is committed to growing manufacturing jobs in Maryland, and we are thrilled to see great companies like Lanco Dairy Farms already taking advantage of our More Jobs for Marylanders Act to hire more workers," said Governor Hogan. "As the now-largest employer in Hancock, this expansion will provide new opportunities for local dairy farmers, benefiting Western Maryland and the entire state."
Lanco Dairy Farms is also known as Lanco-Pennland, a marketing cooperative that was founded in Lancaster County, Pa. in 1998. Today, Lanco-Pennland has an office in Hagerstown and is known as a leader in marketing milk on the East Coast. The co-op strives to help its farmers achieve the highest possible price for their product, while serving the dairy industry with integrity, transparency, and quality. Lanco also focuses on leading the industry by example by providing education and information to its members before issues arise.
Lanco began making cheese in order to maximize the value of its 650 member dairy co-op. Currently, the company produces more than 2 million pounds of cheese per month. Approximately 30 percent of that total consists of Parmesan, making Lanco the first company to ever produce the hard cheese in Maryland. As an environmental partner, Lanco is recycling approximately 60,000 gallons of usable water per day. This water is extracted from the milk used in cheese production and is used in various applications throughout the facility.
"Lanco-Pennland has shown a significant commitment to the county with their financial investment," stated Board of County Commissioner President Terry L. Baker. "In return, we are showing our commitment by assisting them in bringing new jobs to our county."