Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced that multinational retailer Walmart will establish a new food processing facility in Valdosta. The dairy facility will create almost 400 new jobs and $350 million in investment in Lowndes County.
“We're excited that Walmart will soon tap into Georgia’s No. 1 industry and open new opportunities for farmers in the Lowndes County area,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Congratulations to all those on the local and state level whose hard work made this announcement possible. We look forward to many years of success as this project further strengthens our thriving agriculture industry.”
The Valdosta dairy facility will provide high-quality milk throughout Georgia and neighboring states, serving more than 750 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the region.
“We’re thrilled to open this new dairy facility in Valdosta, Georgia, as we continue to make strides to increase surety of supply for our customers grocery essentials,” said Bruce Heckman, Vice President of Manufacturing at Walmart. “We’re looking forward to breaking ground on this exciting venture and we’ll continue to work alongside local dairy farmers and associates as we move ahead. Their collaboration is critical to ensure we’re operating a facility that will process high-quality milk for our customers that we can offer at the everyday low prices they rely on.”
Walmart’s new facility will be located on Inner Perimeter Road in Valdosta. The facility will create fresh dairy products using ingredients sourced from local farmers. Operations are expected to begin in late 2025. Walmart will be hiring for positions in production, engineering, quality, food safety, warehouse operations, maintenance, drivers, and more.
“This new, state-of-the-art facility will not only bring jobs and opportunity to the Valdosta area, it will enable our dairy farmers to produce more goods from start to finish right here in Georgia – sending a larger share of the retail dollar back to the family farm and giving Georgia consumers access to the freshest dairy products possible,” said Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. “This is a great victory for Valdosta-Lowndes County, the State of Georgia, and our No. 1 industry – agriculture.”
"We are proud that Walmart has selected Valdosta as the home of its new food production facility," said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson. "This project demonstrates the economic strength of Valdosta and Lowndes County, and it will provide tremendous job opportunities for our community and the entire South Georgia region."
"Lowndes County is thrilled that Walmart has announced their building a new state of the art facility in our community,” said Chairman Bill Slaughter, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners. “This exciting opportunity will not only bring new jobs and investment to our community, but it will also stimulate growth and innovation throughout the region. We look forward to partnering with this dynamic company to build a better future for all who call Lowndes County home."
Senior Project Manager Elizabeth McLean represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on this project in partnership with the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, City of Valdosta, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Power, and Georgia Quick Start.
“Georgia’s economy is historically rooted in agriculture, and Walmart is demonstrating how the industry continues to evolve and invest in technological advances to improve results in output and sustainability,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Projects like this create a positive ripple-effect for the entire industry ecosystem. Congratulations to all of the partners involved, and we look forward to the jobs and opportunities Walmart will create!”
Food and fiber production and related industries represented $73.2 billion in contributions to Georgia’s economy and more than 340,800 jobs in 2021, according to the University of Georgia Ag Snapshots 2023. Georgia Milk Producers reports that Georgia ranked as the top milk producing state in the Southeast in 2022, with the dairy industry contributing close to $2.5 billion to Georgia’s economy.
Complementing the state’s agriculture and food processing industries, Georgia offers 178 million cubic feet of cold storage space. Logistics and infrastructure stemming from Georgia’s already central location in the southeastern U.S. allow companies to quickly and efficiently move products in and out of the state.