About Us

What We Do

At Hilmar Cheese Company we improve lives around the world. Committed to innovation and sustainability, Hilmar Cheese Company, and our division, Hilmar Ingredients, serves customers in more than 50 countries. State-of-the art production facilities in California and Texas convert an abundance of high-quality milk into a variety of nutritious cheeses, whey protein and lactose.

Cheese Manufacturing

Hilmar Cheese Company specializes in the production of natural cheeses utilized by private label and national brand, retail and foodservice companies throughout the world. Rare among large manufacturing sites, we have the ability to produce a range of cheese in large volumes and the flexibility to adjust quickly to our customer’s changing needs. Our products are made under stringent food safety programs that deliver reliability, traceability and security at every step.

Whey Protein and Lactose Manufacturing

Hilmar Ingredients, a division of Hilmar Cheese Company, markets a wide range of whey protein concentrates, whey protein hydrolysates, whey protein isolate, Lactoferrin; and edible, refined and ultra-refined lactose. These ingredients are sold to food and beverage companies worldwide for use in everything from chocolate bars to smoothies.

Community Responsibility

We take great pride in our local communities. It is where we live too! Company owners and employees dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours. Hilmar Cheese Company provides valuable support to make a difference. Learn more about our local efforts on our Sustainability page.

If you are interested in a donation, please learn more on our donations page.

Scholarship Program

Our annual scholarship program provides college or trade school scholarships for children of our employees, the dairy farm families that ship milk to us and local students in the counties of Merced or Stanislaus, California or Hartley or Dallam, Texas pursing agricultural degrees. Online Scholarship Applications are accepted December – February 1. Annual deadline is February 1. For questions contact scholarships@hilmarcheese.com.

Click here to apply! 


Our History & Values

In 1984, twelve Central California dairy families, seeking to maximize the value of their Jersey cows’ high solids milk, created Hilmar Cheese Company. They invested heavily in research, the latest technology and staff excellence –a practice that continues to guide the privately held company today.



A true “American dream” business story, Hilmar Cheese Company was founded by 12 dairy farm families.


We started processing milk from 15 local family dairy farms, made 3 vats of cheese each day and packaged the first cheese gift packs.


The owner families focused on strong values, dedicated employees and continued to invest in and grow the business.


Community tours were given during the grand opening for the additional cheese processing area.


Constructed facilities to further process milk into nutritious whey proteins (1992) and lactose (1994).


Hilmar Cheese Company becomes the largest single-site cheese processor in the world.


California Visitor Center opened.


A new milk receiving area was built to improve efficiency and accommodate additional milk trucks.


Launched Hilmar Ingredients to market our whey products.


Grand Opening of Texas Manufacturing Site.


Hilmar Ingredients is named Dairy Exporter of the Year and the company celebrates 25 years in business.


100% of the dairy farm families who have a supply agreement with Hilmar Cheese Company are FARM certified for dairy animal care.


Company begins the production of Lactoferrin, a bioactive whey protein.


Headquarters & Innovation Center opens and is designated LEED Platinum


Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy presents Hilmar Cheese Company with the 2015 Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability award. And, we have much more to do…