DFA is a leading milk marketing cooperative and dairy food processor. We serve nearly 13,000 members through our core business of marketing members’ milk, paying them a competitive price and being a leader in the dairy industry. In addition, we offer programs and services that make it easier and more profitable for our members to farm.
In 1996, leaders from four of the nation’s leading milk cooperatives – Associated Milk Producers, Inc., Mid-America Dairymen, Inc., Milk Marketing, Inc., and Western Dairymen Cooperative, Inc. – gathered to discuss strategies for surviving in a consolidating world. As milk processors and grocers grew larger and more national in scope, the regional structure of cooperatives could not keep up. These four cooperatives realized a shared vision – to unite their talents, leadership, markets and capital into a single, stronger cooperative better able to work for the dairy farmer.
On January 1, 1998, DFA was formed.
Since then, four more cooperatives merged into DFA – Independent Cooperative Milk Producers Association, Valley of Virginia Milk Producers Association, Black Hills Milk Producers and California Cooperative Creamery (Cal-Gold) – in order to take advantage of the unified voice and other benefits that working together brings to their members.
The model for farmers working together was so successful that in 1999, DFA and Dairylea, a member cooperative of DFA, partnered to create Dairy Marketing Services (DMS). DMS markets milk for both independent producers and cooperative members. Originally formed to give producers in the Northeast a better return for their milk, DMS is now a national organization.
DFA’s president and Chief Executive Officer, Rick Smith, took the reigns in 2006 after serving as Dairylea’s chief executive officer. Smith has been crucial in developing the Cooperative’s current culture of integrity and transparency and in redirecting the Cooperative to sharpen its focus on members.
Today, DFA is a leading milk marketing cooperative and dairy food processor. We serve nearly 13,000 members through our core business of marketing members’ milk, paying them a competitive price and being a leader in the dairy industry. In addition, we offer programs and services that make it easier and more profitable for our members to farm.
DFA is a milk marketing cooperative and dairy foods processor dedicated to delivering value to members through secure markets, competitive pricing and increasing value throughout the entire dairy chain.
Through superior performance, sound operations and integrity-based relationships, DFA will be the marketplace of choice for dairy farmers, the workplace of choice for employees, the supplier of choice for customers and the partner of choice for businesses.
At DFA, we live every day guided by our values of integrity, accountability, community, innovation, quality and passion. Whether it’s our members rising at 5 a.m. for the first milking of the day or our employees putting in extra hours to bring value to our members, DFA’s values serve as a compass for everyone in our organization.
Integrity - We act ethically in all matters without exception.
Accountability - We deliver on our commitments and hold ourselves responsible for our actions.
Community - We are committed to serving, leading and educating in the communities in which we live, and are connected to the greater agricultural community in which we operate. Through our DFA Cares Foundation, we provide relief and education to those in our communities.
Innovation - We support an innovative environment where employees are encouraged to take appropriate risks and challenge the status quo.
Quality - We are committed to quality – the quality of our products, our services and our way of doing business.
Passion - We are passionate about the farmer-owners we work for, our jobs, the dairy industry, and about supplying the nation and the world with safe, nutritious products.