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Paynesville Press - April 20, 2005

AMPI posts record revenue

By Michael Jacobson

Cheese sales drove Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI) to post a record total revenue of $1.3 billion in 2004.

"AMPI produced a record volume of natural cheese," said general manager Mark Furth. "That volume, coupled with a record-setting cheese market, resulted in strong milk prices for our members - the highest ever."

AMPI's financial performance and operations were reviewed by 500 delegates at a two-day annual meeting in Bloomington in March. The cooperative earned $4 million in 2004 and revolved $10.6 million in equity, according to its audited financial statement.

The earnings occurred despite a December 2004 fire that shut down the cooperative's butter processing and packaging plant in New Ulm. AMPI plans to build an improved facility at this same location.

AMPI operates 13 manufacturing facilities in the midwest, including a cheese making and whey processing plant in Paynesville. AMPI's 5,000 members annually market five billion pounds of milk, of which 80 percent is processed into a full line of consumer-packaged dairy products.

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