Reed's Dairy breaks ground on new production building in Idaho Falls - East Idaho News
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Reed’s Dairy breaks ground on new production building in Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS – Reed’s Dairy held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon for its new production building in a field on the north side of its Broadway Street location in Idaho Falls.

Construction on the 25,000-square-foot building will get underway as soon as the city approves the permits for the project. Priest River Construction will be the contractor.

RELATED | Reed’s Dairy building destroyed in fire earlier this year is being demolished

The groundbreaking comes six months to the day that a fire destroyed the old production building. It was demolished last month. Owner Alan Reed told us at that time construction on the new building would take about two years to complete.

RELATED | Reed’s Dairy production building a total loss following fire

During the groundbreaking, Reed choked up as he thanked the crowd for their attendance.

“All of you — this is what makes it,” Reed said through tears. “We wanted everyone involved because (this is our) community and we’re happy to be part of it.”

Among those in attendance was Greater Idaho Falls Chamber CEO Paul Baker, Idaho Falls City Councilwoman Lisa Burtenshaw, Reed’s father, Roy, who is one of the dairy’s founders. Bonneville County Commissioner Bryon Reed, who is Alan’s brother, was also in attendance.

baker and reed
Greater Idaho Falls Chamber CEO Paul Baker, left, with Alan Reed following the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon. | Rett Nelson,

Bryon is not involved in the dairy, but became the owner of the farm when the family separated the two operations during the 1980s.

The Reed farm has about 1,800 acres in Bonneville County. It grows potatoes, wheat, barley and alfalfa. At one time, Bryon supplied alfalfa for Alan’s cows.

Today, the cows are housed at a dairy in Mud Lake. They were moved to that location about 18 months before the fire, which Alan expressed gratitude for during a conversation with

Bryon shared his memories of growing up on the dairy years ago.

“I spent a lot of time working and playing here in the old barn and the apple orchard. There’s a lifetime of memories here,” Bryon told the crowd.

Over the last several months, Bryon said it’s been “amazing” to watch the outpouring of support from the community to Alan and his family.

“The day of the fire … it amazed me how many people — his competitors in the business came that night or called him to say, ‘How can I help?'” Bryon said. “The continued support, evident by all of you here today, is overwhelming.”

During the fire, Bryon said his brother was on the phone with other dairies. Alan had production lined up before the flames were out, Bryon said, which allowed the operation to continue without a hiccup.

Bryon praised his brother for his leadership during a time of crisis.

“That’s the kind of leadership I have looked up to in Alan my entire life. Because of that, I know that this (new construction project) is going to be a success. He’s got a great team around him, he’s got great partners and it’ll all come together in a great way,” said Bryon.

reeds dairy property
Property where the new Reed’s Dairy production building will be built. | Rett Nelson,

Alan started tearing up again as he spoke of his uncle, Larry, who was involved in a remodel of the production building in 1980. At that time, Alan said they added a new boiler room and Larry was thrilled about it.

RELATED | Reeds Dairy owner grateful for community support following fire that destroyed production building

The new building will include a special tribute to him.

“This new building will have a plaque on it in memory of him because now it’s all going to be new. We’re grateful for him and all he has done,” Alan said, choking up.