Aurora Organic Dairy breaks ground in Columbia

“This is a great day for Columbia,” announced Columbia Mayor Brian Treece at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD) milk processing plant to be built in Columbia.

The celebration gathered more than 70 supporters, including AOD executives, local elected officials, taxing district entities and REDI investors. Construction workers already busy at the site also joined the festivities at the former Sutter industrial site at Route B and Waco Rd.

Mayor Treece shared stories of his own childhood on a farm as he praised the AOD project, which will bring an initial investment of $106 million and 100 jobs to Columbia. With plans to invest another $50 million and add an additional 50 jobs within the first three years of operation, the AOD project is the largest Missouri Partnership capital investment project to date.

Mayor Treece noted AOD’s outreach to the University of Missouri and Moberly Area Community College to provide internship opportunities for students. He also pointed to AOD’s creation of middle-skill jobs that will provide family-sustaining wages, and AOD’s commitment to hiring employees that reflect the demographic of Columbia and support the goals of the City’s strategic plan.

Mark Peperzak, CEO of Aurora Organic Dairy, thanked the crowd for their support. He said that AOD had been looking at Columbia for some time as they considered future plans for the dairy, and were impressed by the culture of Columbia and how they thought their employees would be happy to live in the community. He also thanked the many people who worked to bring AOD to Columbia, citing the truly group effort that showed the wide support for the facility.

A reception at Commerce Bank for REDI investors and other supporters of the project followed the ceremony.

 

A rendering of the future Aurora Organic Dairy milk processing plant, unveiled the day of the groundbreaking ceremony.
AOD construction site
AOD construction site prepared for the ceremonial groundbreaking

 

Columbia welcomes Aurora Organic Dairy
Stacey Button, REDI; Rusty Strodtman, Columbia Mall; Matt Williams, Landmark Bank; Teresa Maledy, Commerce Bank

 

 

Bernie Andrews, REDI; Jeff Echelmeier, Williams-Keepers LLC; and David Drennan, Missouri Dairy Association
Bill Young, Boone County Library District Board; Darin Preis, Columbia Public School Board; Bill Watkins, Maly Commercial Realty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch
Kurt Olsen, Missouri Departmnt of Agriculture and Hannah Cleeton, Sentator Blunt’s office
Dave Griggs, REDI Incentives Subcommittee
Rosemary Frank, City Channel, and Jim Whitt, City of Columbia Supplier Diversity Program Director
Columbia City Channel and Missourian reporters
Media at the construction site

 

Jeff Lashley and Brandi Glover, Moberly Area Community College
Janet Thompson, Boone County Commissioner
Bernie Andrews welcomes the Aurora team.
Kurt Sides, Big D Construction and Marc Peperzak, Aurora Organic Dairy
Matt Pitzer, City Council Ward 5, and Jim Whitt, Columbia Supplier Diversity Program
REDI Chair Jeff Echelmeier, Aurora Organic Dairy Executives and Mayor Brian Treece
REDI Chair Jeff Echelmeier introducted AOD executives Marc Peperzak, CEO; Gary Sebek, COO; Joe Harmon, Technical Resource Manager; Floyd Carpenter, Maintenance Manager; and Doug Geshell; Mayor Brian Treece and Steve Johnson, Missouri Partnership CEO.
AOD groundbreaking ceremony
AOD groundbreaking ceremony
Mayor Brian Treece speaks at the AOD groundbreaking ceremony.
Mayor Brian Treece
Steve Johnson, CEO, Missouri Partnership, speaks at the AOD groundbreaking ceremony.
Steve Johnson, CEO, Missouri Partnership, speaks at the AOD groundbreaking ceremony.
Marc Peperzak, CEO of Aurora Organic Dairy, addresses the crowd gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for AOD’s future Columbia milk processing facility.
Marc Peperzak, CEO of Aurora Organic Dairy, addresses the crowd gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for AOD’s future Columbia milk processing facility.
The Big D Construction crew joins the celebration.
Doug Geshell; Floyd Carpenter, Maintenance Manager; Gary Sebek, COO; Marc Peperzak, CEO; and Joe Harmon, Technical Resource Manager of Aurora Organic Dairy prepare to break ground for their Columbia facility.
AOD executives, local elected officials, local taxing district representatives and other supporters shovel dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Aurora Organic Dairy milk processing facility in Columbia.
AOD executives, local elected officials, local taxing district representatives and other supporters shovel dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Aurora Organic Dairy milk processing facility in Columbia.
AOD executives, local elected officials, local taxing district representatives and other supporters shovel dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Aurora Organic Dairy milk processing facility in Columbia.
Mayor Brian Treece and REDI Incentives Subcommittee Chair Dave Griggs introduce Aurora Organic Dairy CEO Marc Peperzak, and unveil a rendering of the Columbia processing facility to be built in Columbia.
Mayor Brian Treece and REDI Incentives Subcommittee Chair Dave Griggs introduce Aurora Organic Dairy CEO Marc Peperzak, and unveil a rendering of the Columbia processing facility to be built in Columbia.