Dairy Farmers of America

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Dairy Farmers of America
Agricultural marketing cooperative
PredecessorAssociated Milk Producers, Inc.; Mid-America Dairymen, Inc.; Milk Marketing, Inc.; and Western Dairymen Cooperative, Inc.
United States
Key people
Rick Smith (President and CEO)
RevenueDecrease US$13.5 billion (2016)
Increase US$131.8 million (2016)
Number of employees
cow being milked

Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) is a national milk marketing cooperative in the United States. It is owned by and serves more than 14,500 dairy farmer-members representing more than 8,500 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 both domestically and abroad. Net sales in 2016 were $13.5 billion, representing about 22 percent of raw milk production in the United States.[1]

DFA's headquarters were moved to Kansas City, Kansas, in 2017. DFA is divided into seven geographical areas covering the span of the United States. Each Area elects farmer-leaders to serve on DFA's Board of Directors, totaling 49 directors, which govern 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.[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]

In 2011, DFA acquired Kemps of St. Paul, Minnesota, and its subsidiaries from HP Hood.[7] In 2014, DFA acquired Oakhurst®,[8] and Dairylea Cooperative Inc. merged with the farmer-owned Cooperative. DFA became the sole owner of DairiConcepts in 2015,[9] which was once a partnership between DFA and Fonterra Co-operative Group Unlimited. DFA also acquired Cumberland Dairy, a processor of ultra-pasteurized dairy products, in 2017.[10]

Current operations and services[edit]

DFA is a farmer-owned company. The Cooperative, which employs more than 6,000 people nationwide, is led by Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer, and DFA's farmer-leader Board of Directors, led by DFA Board Chairman Randy Mooney.

In addition to marketing raw milk, as a dairy foods processor, DFA makes a wide range of dairy products, including cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, fluid milk, cheese powder, cream, whole milk powder, sweetened condensed milk, coffee-based beverages and more. The Cooperative has invested in 42 DFA-owned manufacturing plants, joint-venture partnerships with private-label food marketing companies, as well as partnerships resulting in specially formulated ingredients, products and packaging.

DFA offers a variety of member services through its Farm Services Division, which comprises the following businesses: DFA Energy, DFA Farm Supplies, DFA Financing, DFA Grazing, DFA Insurance, DFA Risk Management, Empire Livestock Marketing and Dairy One. The Cooperative also provides members the opportunity to participate in leadership development programs like the Young Cooperator and Emerging Leaders programs.


  • Borden Cheese
  • Breakstone's Butter (trademark licensed from Kraft Heinz)
  • Cache Valley Creamery
  • California Gold Dairy Products
  • Cass Clay
  • Craigs Station Creamery
  • Dairy Maid Dairy
  • Falfurrias
  • Guida's Dairy
  • Hotel Bar
  • Keller's Creamery
  • Kemps
  • La Vaquita
  • Live Real Farms
  • Oakhurst
  • Plugrá
  • Sport Shake

Commodity price manipulation issues[edit]

In 2008, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and DFA agreed[11] to a $12 million settlement. Without admitting or denying the CFTC's findings in the administrative order, DFA agreed to pay the negotiated aggregate civil monetary penalty, which concluded the investigation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DFA Reports Record Profits - Dairy Farmers of America". www.dfamilk.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Farm Horizons: Merger of four co-ops includes Mid-America Dairymen". www.herald-journal.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Dairylea Members Approve Merger with DFA - Dairy Farmers of America". www.dfamilk.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  4. ^ "St. Louis Post-Dispatch Newspaper Archives". nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  5. ^ "DALLAS FIRM PLANS TO BUY SHENANDOAH'S PRIDE DAIRY". Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Archive Search - PressDemocrat.com - The Press-Democrat - Santa Rosa, CA". nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  7. ^ Kansas City Business Journal - Dairy Farmers of America will become owner of Kemps (April 15, 2011), Retrieved Apr. 23, 2015.
  8. ^ "Oakhurst Acquired by a Farmer Owned Cooperative - Dairy Farmers of America". www.dfamilk.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Dairy Farmers of America acquires sole ownership of DairiConcepts - Dairy Farmers of America". www.dfamilk.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  10. ^ "DFA Acquires Cumberland Dairy - Dairy Farmers of America". www.dfamilk.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Dairy Farmers of America settles with CFTC - Dairy Farmers of America". www.dfamilk.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.