For Port of Pasco Economic Development Director Stephen McFadden, helping recruit Darigold to Pasco feels like hitting a game winning homerun in the World Series. “Darigold represents the largest private investment project in the history of the Port of Pasco. We were thrilled!” said McFadden.
The Port of Pasco is the City’s prime economic development partner in Franklin County. McFadden was instrumental in recruiting one of the largest ever industrial projects in Pasco’s history. Darigold broke ground in late 2022 on their massive milk processing plant. McFadden worked closely with The Port of Pasco’s Executive Director Randy Hayden to make sure City of Pasco, state and federal officials were involved in the recruitment process. McFadden says the teamwork to make the project happen was incredible.
“The coordination and collaboration. Every local agency and utility helped the Port to win this project. Today the Port leads development team meetings monthly with as many as 40 people involved,” said McFadden.
Darigold hosted a commemorative groundbreaking ceremony in September of 2022. The 600-million-dollar facility is slated to open in 2024 and will process nearly 8-million pounds of milk per day when fully operational from more than 100 dairy farms in the surrounding communities.
“The Pasco project represents our third major capital investment in as many years. This is the largest investment in our co-op’s 104 history and a significant step in an ongoing strategy to expand and modernize Darigold,” said Joe Coote, the co-op’s chief executive officer, in a press release.
McFadden says the State of Washington was instrumental is providing funding.
“This project was supported by local legislators. The Port received $7.5 million to construct public utilities and infrastructure,” he said.
McFadden says things are busy at the site in Northeast Pasco.
“Groundbreaking was September 8, 2022. Two years after the site selection process first began. Mass excavation and grading will be finished in February and construction to start soon after that,” said McFadden.
The Darigold project will create 200+ jobs and the third-party cold storage facility will create about 150 jobs.