There’s enough negativity in today’s world that it’s always nice when something positive comes along.

Within a matter of weeks, a dairy products manufacturing facility known as Dairymen’s Best Creamery will begin operation in Houston.

That’s right – a brand new manufacturing plant in Houston, complete with new jobs, new tax revenue and everything else that comes along with industry. Never mind that Houston is well known for being the former home of multiple plants that up and left; that was then, this is now, is this sure sounds like a good thing to be taking place.

When asked what this area needs most, most peoples’ answer is “more jobs.” In my mind, that’s 100-percent accurate and nothing else could help Houston and Texas County more.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

But making that happen is harder said than done, big-time. But it’s certainly not an impossible task, and that’s apparently understood and embraced by a few individuals with the City of Houston who have the ability to do something about it.

Not that Dairymen’s Best will single-handedly solve the jobs situation overnight, but it’s a great step in the right direction, what with 20 or so people gaining employment at the outset and likely a bunch more in the near future.

As I said, this sure sounds like a good idea, and a lot of the thanks has to go to the Houston Industrial Development Authority, which has crawled out on a financial limb to offer really generous monetary incentives to Dairymen’s. But knowing what I know about the situation (which is by no means everything, but is a whole lot more than a couple of weeks ago), I feel like that limb is stout and it’s not going to come crashing down any time soon.

Surely, one of the best aspects of having this place open in the Houston Industrial Park (other than basic economic benefits) will be its retail store where we’ll be able to purchase locally made dairy products created from milk from local cows.

I’m looking forward to getting some garlic flavored butter and farm-fresh sour cream, and I’m a big fan of cheese so I can’t wait to taste the pepper jack and cheddar (hopefully yellow and white) that will be offered there.

Man, locally made dairy foods – how cool is that?

Also, we’ll have plant manager Dave Cline in our midst. Wait ’til you meet this man – he’s about as nice as they come and I figure we’re all going to learn a thing or two as he and his cohorts educating us about what’s real and good in the dairy industry. I think it’s going to be fun as they start getting out and shaking hands, and I believe they’ll inevitably become a familiar and integral part of the community.

Anyway, as we collectively watch how this sortie of calculated risk and free enterprise works out, a bit of recognition seems appropriate that Houston Economic Development Director Ron Reed, City Administrator Larry Sutton and the members of the city council seem to understand that making positive economic change can sometimes mean being proactive and aggressive. I’m pretty sure the days of sitting back and waiting for someone to open a big business ended some time ago, and it’s nice to see some action in addressing that.

Here’s to hoping we get to buy locally made cheese and yogurt in our own backyard for a long time.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.  Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

 

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