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 DFA and Dairylea Plan 2014 Merger  

Dairy Farmers of America and Dairylea Cooperative have announced plans to merge in 2014, making the regional Dairylea co-op a brand name under the 13,000 member, 48-state DFA cooperative. The dairy farmer owned co-ops said the consolidation would boost market opportunities.

The board of DFA, which is based in Kansas City, has already approved the merger. DFA has reported sales of $12.1 billion in 2012 and markets more than 61 billion pounds of milk annually.

Members of Dairylea, a regional co-op based in Syracuse, N.Y., will vote on the proposal in February. Dairylea has about 2,000 members and markets 6 billion pounds of milk annually on sales of about $1 billion.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the merger would solidify an already-close relationship.

Dairylea is a member co-op of DFA and the two operate Dairy Marketing Services, a milk merchandising organization. Rick Smith, president and chief executive at DFA, is former chief executive at Dairylea.

"They have been so closely coordinated that this is going to be a pretty smooth transition," predicted Andrew Novakovic, Ph.D., an agricultural economist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "In the back room, they have been operating as one for a long time," said James Dunn, Ph.D., a dairy economist at Penn State University.

The Dairylea name would become a brand of DFA and the new entity would maintain a field office and staff in Syracuse. The merger probably would reduce competition among dwindling milk cooperatives, Novakovic said.

Source: The Citizen’s Voice (PA)

Posted on Monday, December 30, 2013 (Archive on Monday, January 06, 2014)
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