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Hilmar Cheese job fair May 30

Hilmar Cheese Co.’s Dodge City plant is at the hiring stage and recruiting employees.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

May 28, 2024

3 Min Read
Hilmar Cheese Co. Dodge CIty plant
CHEESE FACILITY: Hilmar Cheese’s Dodge City, Kan., facility is on track to start receiving milk and making cheese by the end of 2024. Jennifer M. Latzke

The highly anticipated, state-of-the-art Hilmar Cheese Co.’s Dodge City location is in the final construction phase, ready to go online at the end of 2024, company leaders say.

“All major building and construction is complete, and equipment installation is progressing on schedule. Paving, gravel work and seeding is in progress,” says Jeff Brock, engineering site director. “The site will start to receive milk and make cheese toward the end of the year.”

In anticipation, Hilmar is hosting a career event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the Dodge City Civic Center. Current career opportunities include those in production, operations and maintenance, according to the company. Participants are asked to bring their resumes.

DeeAnne Marlow, vice president of human resources for Hilmar Cheese, says the company is looking for those people who fit the company’s culture and values, want to build relationships, demonstrate integrity, have a desire to learn and improve, and collaborate through teamwork.

“All roles utilize and interact with computers and technology at various levels,” she says. Still, Hilmar Cheese has an excellent training program, Marlow adds, and says the company is looking for continuous learners. She encourages interested applicants to view requirements for specific roles on the company website, hilmar.com/careers.

Hilmar Cheese offers competitive salary and wages, as well as a benefits package, tuition reimbursement, and a focus on training and development.

Company aims for ‘exceptional culture’

“We strive to cultivate an exceptional culture,” Marlow says. “What that means is that we have a welcoming team who live our values of relationship, integrity, improvement, teamwork and excellence. We strive to create a workplace where you can belong to a team with a shared purpose — to improve lives together. We care for one another’s well-being. This includes competitive compensation and outstanding benefits. We also encourage each person to learn, and we offer in-house training, leadership development and tuition reimbursement. Our culture also encourages growth and provides opportunities for advancement.”

Hilmar Cheese plans to bring that corporate culture of growth and opportunity to the greater Dodge City community, says David Ahlem, president and CEO.

“At Hilmar, our purpose is ‘Improving Lives Together.’ We are actively involved in the communities where we operate and have been enjoying being involved with many local organizations since we made the decision to build here,” he says. “This will be our fourth summer hosting the Cheeseburger Feed at Dodge City Days. Last year, our Dodge employees participated in our September Hunger Action food drive. We look forward to continuing to actively participate in the Dodge City community.”

As part of its adoption into the community, the company was mindful about using several new state-of-the-art sustainable solutions in its construction and future operations, according to Ahlem. These include: water conservation, reuse and recycling; energy efficiencies in all areas; streamlined processes for its operations; and a general building layout that minimizes material handling and personnel travel time. The construction of the plant itself also used design methods to reduce use of rebar and concrete, he adds.

To learn more about career opportunities at Hilmar Cheese in Dodge City, call 209-667-6076 or email [email protected]. Applicants can also apply online and create an alert to get job posting notifications at hilmar.com/careers.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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