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 16,000 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 2010 were $9.8 billion, representing about 30 percent of the raw milk production of the United States.

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


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.[1] Officials from the four cooperatives determined that merging would give the nation’s dairy farmers a fair voice in national policy making and the ability to address the needs of national customers. Since then, four other cooperatives have become a part of DFA – Independent Cooperative Milk Producers Association, Valley of Virginia Milk Producers Association, California Cooperative Creamery and Black Hills Milk Producers.[2][3][4]

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 is led by Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer, and DFA's farmer-leader Board of Directors. Member services include health insurance options, price risk management tools, purchasing programs, scholarship opportunities, leadership development programs, consulting services and more.


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.[6]