BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — Construction is finishing up on a new cheese plant in Brookings.

The Bel Brands USA plant director tells the Brookings Register the plant is on track to start production in July and the operation is moving into the hiring and equipment testing phases.

Bel Brands makes Mini Babybel and The Laughing Cow cheese wedges.

Professors in the South Dakota State University dairy science department tell KELO-TV that the school's collaboration with the new cheese plant will create several hands-on learning experiences and the possibility for future employment.

The company has said it will invest about $100 million in the plant that will employ 200 people initially and could mean up to 400 jobs within three years of becoming fully operational in 2014.

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