Plant Manager

Job Description

Michigan Milk Producers Association, a leader in Michigan's dairy industry, is seeking a Plant Manager to join our team in Middlebury, Indiana. Milk Producers Association is the 10th largest dairy cooperative in the United States with approximately 2,000 dairy farmer members in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Provide leadership and direct the ongoing operations in a 60 employee operation to consistently and reliably meet customer requirements in a cheese manufacturing facility. The plant manager position directs and manages all plant operations with overall responsibilities for all departments supporting the manufacturing facility. The facility focuses on long horn, deli horn, and barreled cheeses such as colby, cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack, and amish creamery cheese.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide a safe work environment. Maintain, establish, and revise safety guidelines and policies. Work closely with safety committee.

  • Overall responsibility for all plant operations including coordination between departments to ensure that all production, maintenance, safety, quality and sanitation goals are met. Ensure that appropriate standard operating procedures (SOP's) are developed and maintained for all aspects of the business.

  • Ensure the functionality and coordination of management's efforts to operate the facility at maximum financial advantage.

  • Assure sufficient strength at management and supervisory levels to provide an orderly transition as vacancies arise.

  • Effectively utilize company resources when matching cheese production with sales.

  • Demonstrate flexibility with plans or production needs change and act accordingly.

  • Develop, mentor, and motivate a team and evaluate the performance of those responsible for.

  • Act as a conduit to provide feedback to corporate on changes of processes and procedures and how they impact the products and employees on the front lines.

  • Suggest and complete continuous improvements at the plant level.

  • Coordinate plant activities through the planning with departmental managers to ensure the total manufacturing objectives are accomplished in a timely and cost-effective manner.

  • Develop and control profits, plans, and budget.

  • Implement cost effective systems of control over capital, operating expenditures, manpower, wages and salaries.

  • Manages capital asset maintenance.

  • Establish and monitor overall plant performance for production and quality standards.

  • Maintain existing plant facilities and equipment; replace, or make adjustments to plant facilities and equipment when necessary.

  • Provide leadership and training to accomplish the company goals and objectives.

  • Incorporate shop floor organization and plant cleanliness among plant personnel.

  • Establish and utilize detailed plans, standard processes and focused training to manufacture high quality value-added products.

  • Oversee a highly disciplined workforce, excellent safety record, and low losses due to waste.

  • Assure the standard operations of the plant and products manufactured meet or exceed the expectations of regulatory agencies and customers.

  • Oversee all regulatory inspections to ensure positive relations with the state and federal inspection personnel.

  • Spearhead making changes to equipment, procedures and practices that will reduce cost or improve efficiency.

  • Manage the plant budget effectively.

  • Ensure the efficient and effective operation of the plant.

  • Stay apprised of HR issues within the facility.

  • Lead the safety efforts of the plant to achieve and maintain a zero lost time accident record.

  • Operate with a firm but fair practice and hold individuals accountable to their responsibilities.

  • Maintain a superior quality record and ensure customer complaints are addressed within reason.

  • Maintain Plant Shrink below set target.

  • Provide leadership in establishing a cooperative, respectful relationship with organized labor that recognizes the need of the Association to be efficient and profitable. This will mean establishing high expectations for performance and addressing poor performance consistently.

  • Represent the association within the community, State, and milk processing industry in a professionally competent and ethical manner. This might involve serving on advisory committees, working with local governmental officials or meeting with local community members.

  • Work closely and collaboratively with the Novi, Michigan management team.


 Education and Work Experience:

  •  Significant knowledge of cheese manufacturing processes. Natural and processed cheese manufacturing experience is highly desired.

  • Bachelor's degree from four-year college or university; or seven plus years related experience and/or training within a food manufacturing business preferred; or equivalent combination of education and experience. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years of plant management experience.

  • New equipment implementation and vendor selection experience.

  • Ability to understand processing cost of product.

  • Budgetary experience a must.

  • ERP experience helpful. 

 Functional Competencies needed:

  •  Strong organizational and communication skills

  • Solid analytical skills

  • Understanding of technical issues related to manufacturing

  • Strong planning and organization

  • Demonstrated initiative and desire to learn about the dairy industry

  • Independent thinker

  • Aptitude for gaining knowledge

  • Ability to foster knowledge exchange within and with other departments

  • Collaborative communication approach

  • Requires a resourceful and direct management style, must ask questions and seek resolution

  • Utilize sound judgment

  • Ability to disseminate knowledge to other employees for the good of the coop

  • Working knowledge of excel and word along with an ability to quickly pick up computer based logistics, sales, and inventory systems.

 Managerial Competencies and Personal Skills/Attributes needed:

  • Committed to achieve our mission through the leadership and guidance of a team

  • Individual with open and new ideas

  • Drive change with a positive attitude

  • Develop an authentic relationship

  • Shows value for different opinions, shows flexibility to different opinions

  • Shows interest to learn and share from others

  • Learns and interacts positively with the environment

  • Willing to take action in a changing environment

  • Analytical and problem-solution oriented mindset

  • Shows passion for growth and development within a team

 Company Features:

MMPA is one of the top dairy cooperatives in the nation with a strong financial record. Our owners are 2000+ dairy farmers located in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin.  MMPA markets its members' milk, guaranteeing a market every day for all member-produced milk. 


  • Competitive salary

  • Bonus

  • Company provided pension

  • Company Car

  • Executive Physical

  • Outstanding insurance benefits - Health/Vision/Dental 

  • Protection for the future - Life and Disability insurance

  • Paid vacation time and sick time

  • 401(k) plan with a generous company contribution

Together with our members and employees our association is positioned and planning for growth.  Our benefits are attractive, and our future is bright.

Successful passage of drug test, background check, and criminal record check required.




Company Description
Company Features:
MMPA is one of the top dairy cooperatives in the nation with a strong financial record. Our owners are 2000+ dairy farmers located in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. MMPA markets its members milk, guaranteeing a market every day for all member-produced milk.

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