Yogurt Maker's Planned Expansion Will Create 400 New Jobs In Idaho

Greek yogurt jobs in IdahoThe Greek government may have it debt woes, but it appears Greek-style yogurt is a way to make money hand over fist -- at least in the U.S.

The treat's growing popularity is a boon for Chobani Greek Yogurt, manufactured by upstate New York-based Agro Farma, which announced plans this week to open a second plant in Idaho, creating 400 jobs.

In deciding to locate its new $100 million high-capacity production plant in Twin Falls, the company said that the city's proximity to "abundant milk supply, skilled labor force and tight-knit local community" ultimately made it the right choice, KTVB-TV reports.

The decision to build a new plant in the West follows Agro's recently unveiled plans to spend $200 million to expand its main plant in South Edmeston, N.Y., adding 450 jobs to its existing work force of 390, says The Associated Press.

Construction of the Idaho plant is planned to begin later this year with expectations of opening the facility sometime in 2012. Workers' wages will start at $14 an hour, the Twin Falls Times-News reports.

Among other cities the company considered were some in Nevada and California, also because of their location in the western half of the nation.

Founded in 2005 by Hamdi Ulukaya, a native of Turkey, Agro Farma is New York's largest dairy manufacturer.

The company introduced the Chobani brand, which is thicker than traditional yogurt, in 2007. It has grown to become the best-selling brand of cup yogurt in the U.S.

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