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130 laid off in Minn. dairy plant closure

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New Ulm-based Associated Milk Producers Incorporated says it will close a plant in southwest Minnesota and lay off 130 employees.

An AMPI official said its plant in Dawson will close sometime after Jan. 1, 2013. The plant makes cheese sauces and puddings that can be stored at room temperature. AMPI sold the "shelf stable" part of its business recently to Bay Valley Foods, but the Dawson plant itself was not included in the deal. 

AMPI communications director Sarah Schmidt said the company will meet with affected Dawson employees this week.

"AMPI will be sitting down, having one-on-one meetings with those employees," said Schmidt.  "Getting into the different transition package elements that they're going to be interested in."

Schmidt said the Dawson employees can apply for jobs at other AMPI plants. 

"There are 11 other manufacturing plants and we'll be offering employment opportunities to Dawson plant employees for positions that may be open at those 11 other plants," said Schmidt.

AMPI is owned by about 3,000 upper Midwest dairy farmers.