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Posted on  

February 12, 2001

Golden Cheese Company of California Becomes State's Second Ethanol Producer

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has announced that the Golden Cheese Company of California started producing ethanol in January from cheese whey residue left from cheese processing. Golden Cheese becomes the second ethanol producer in California. The increasing production and use of ethanol in California will be a major topic at the RFA sponsored National Ethanol Conference in Las Vegas on February 18-20th.

"The RFA is excited to see Golden Cheese join the ranks of California ethanol producers," said Eric Vaughn, president of the RFA. "As MTBE is phased-out and replaced with ethanol in California, we are committed to growing the California ethanol industry. Golden Cheese is a great example of a farmer-owned cooperative converting an agriculture waste product into a renewable fuel. This is great for California consumers and the environment. We're very proud that Golden Cheese is the newest member of the RFA."

The Golden Cheese Company, a division of Dairy Farmers of America, is located in Corona, California and employs 375 people. They process 5 million pounds of milk per day into cheese. Cheese whey, a residual product of this process, is then converted into ethanol. While Golden Cheese had produced ethanol for over 10 years beginning in the mid-1980s, production had been halted due to the lack of an ethanol market in California. Golden Cheese restarted production this month in response to the growing California ethanol market resulting from the phase-out of MTBE. Golden Cheese creates enough cheese whey to produce 5 million gallons of ethanol per year.

"We're excited to see the ethanol market grow in California," said Don Bradford, president of the Golden Cheese Company of California. "Ethanol provides an opportunity to convert waste products into fuel. At the same time, we create jobs, add to California's tax base, and help produce a clean fuel that doesn't hurt our drinking water. The Golden Cheese Company is proud to be a part of the growing ethanol industry. We're also looking forward to working with the California Renewable Fuels Partnership to promote switching from toxic MTBE to safe ethanol."



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