The merger will become official on April 1, and combines Dairylea’s Northeast-based 1,200 members with DFA’s 13,000 nationwide dairy farmer members.
Dairylea’s nearly 300 employees will become employees of DFA and continue to work out of the offices currently shared by both cooperatives in Syracuse, N.Y. There will be no disruption in operations or milk procurement in the Northeast.
The cooperatives have worked together since DFA was formed in 1998, coordinating milk assembly, transportation and marketing, as well as joint management of Farm Services and membership operations in the Northeast.
“In many ways, it will just be business as usual as we expand upon the working relationship DFA and Dairylea have established over the past 15 years,” said Rick Smith, DFA president and chief executive officer.
Greg Wickham, Dairylea’s chief executive officer, said the merger “makes sense because DFA and Dairylea share strategic goals, our values align, our missions are similar, and our vision is the same.”
DFA’s structure ensures the cooperative’s Northeast Area Council will maintain local governance familiar to Dairylea members.