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Hiland buys Memory Lane Dairy

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Springfield-based Hiland Dairy has purchased Fordland milk producer Memory Lane Dairy.

Hiland President and General Manager Gary Aggus said the sale closed Oct. 1 for an undisclosed amount.

"We've found that there seems to be a good niche for that type of product," he said. "I don't know if it's nostalgia, but there are people out there that like their milk in a glass bottle."

Memory Lane sells its milk in nostalgic glass bottles with the slogan "Fresh from Udder Country."

Aggus said Hiland, which established Memory Lane Dairy LLC for the purchase, has no plans to change the products or facility operations. The biggest difference, he said, is that Hiland has taken over the distribution of the product, meaning it will become available to all of Hiland's customers throughout southwest Missouri. Previously, Memory Lane shipped its products to stores in Springfield, Nixa, Rogersville, Ozark and Branson, Aggus said.

"They'll keep producing the same quality products. They are just out of the distributing business," Aggus said of Memory Lane.

Thirty-year dairy farmers Vickie and Dave Kensinger began selling and distributing the milk at Memory Lane Dairy in 2001. In May 2009, a tornado significantly damaged the production plant and retail store, located 2.5 miles from the Kensingers' nearly 400-acre farm just outside Fordland. The facility which was later rebuilt, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

Memory Lane store manager Loretta Blankenship referred comment to Aggus.

Aggus said their son, Luke Kensinger, has continued running the plant for Hiland.

"The Kensingers did a god job for many years, but with fuel prices what they were, we had the distribution network to expand the growth of the product," Aggus said. "The opportunity for growth is so much better."[[In-content Ad]]

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