Dairy Farmers of America

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Dairy Farmers of America
Agricultural marketing cooperative
Industry Agriculture
Predecessor Associated Milk Producers, Inc.; Mid-America Dairymen, Inc.; Milk Marketing, Inc.; and Western Dairymen Cooperative, Inc.
Founded 1998
Headquarters Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Website www.dfamilk.com

Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) is a national milk marketing cooperative in the United States. It is owned by and serves nearly 15,000 dairy farmer-members representing more than 9,000 dairy farms in 48 states. DFA markets members' raw milk and sells milk and derivative products (dairy products, food components, ingredients and shelf-stable dairy products) to wholesale buyers. Net sales in 2013 were $12.8 billion, representing about 30 percent of the raw milk production of the United States.[1]

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, DFA is divided into seven geographical areas. Each area elects farmer-leaders to serve on DFA’s Board of Directors, which governs the cooperative.

History[edit]

DFA was formed in 1998 through the merger of four dairy cooperatives: the Southern region of Associated Milk Producers Inc.; Mid-America Dairymen Inc.; Milk Marketing Inc.; and Western Dairymen Cooperative Inc.[2] Officials from the four cooperatives determined that merging would give the nation’s dairy farmers a fair voice in national policymaking and the ability to address the needs of national customers. Since then, five other cooperatives have become a part of DFA – Independent Cooperative Milk Producers Association, Valley of Virginia Milk Producers Association, California Cooperative Creamery, Black Hills Milk Producers and Dairylea Cooperative Inc.[3][4][5][6]

Current operations and services[edit]

Today, DFA markets its members’ milk nationally and internationally and has joint ventures and partnerships with several food and processing companies. The cooperative, which employs over 5,000 people nationwide, is led by Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer, and DFA's farmer-leader Board of Directors, lead by Randy Mooney, DFA Board chairman. Member services include six Farm Services – insurance, finance, grazing, energy, risk management and farm supplies – leadership development programs and the DFA Cares Foundation, which provides disaster relief through product and monetary donations, scholarships to students pursuing careers in dairy, and nutritious dairy and food products for those in need.

Brands[edit]

Anti-trust issues[edit]

In 2008, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and DFA agreed to a $12 million settlement, which concluded an investigation into past trading activities by DFA on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). As of 2009, 17 dairy farmers are suing DFA, alleging that it is engaged in anticompetitive behavior by setting up a monopolistic "cartel" in the southeastern United States.[8]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]