Hastings Co-op Creamery future unclear

A Minnesota official says the future of the Hastings Cooperative Creamery is unclear.

The butter and bottled milk processor had been shut down for violating discharge permit limits in mid-August and was damaged by a fire on September 13th.

Minnesota Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen says an investigation into the fire is ongoing. “We’re still hopeful. I talked to the Mayor about two weeks ago. You know, unfortunately, there’s going to be an investigation and that’s going to take some time, but you know, the hard thing was we had a couple of interested buyers, you know, going into that so it was really unfortunate to see that fire.”

Petersen says the state of Minnesota is still working with the city to see if it is possible to reopen the creamery, but cleanup continues for now.  Nearly 45 dairy farms had to find a new home for their milk, and Peterson says twice as many Wisconsin farmers were impacted as Minnesota farmers. “We’re glad most of the farmers found a home for their milk. That was another priority for us, so we’ll see how it plays out here.”

The Metropolitan Council says the creamery leaked thousands of gallons of milk and cream into the sewer system and issued six violations in a seven-month period.  The Hastings Cooperative Creamery began making butter in 1913 and later added a milk bottling line.

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