US – Dairy Farmers of America (DAF), a national dairy cooperative in the US, has appointed Dennis Rodenbaugh as its CEO from July 1, 2022.

The new CEO of the Kansas-based nonprofit cooperative succeeds Richard (Rick) P. Smith, who officially stepped down on June 30 after 16 years of service.

Rodenbaugh joined DFA in 2007 and has held several leadership roles throughout the organization.

The most recent role was the title of executive vice president, council operations, and president, Ingredient Solutions, DFA says.

In that role, Rodenbaugh was responsible for overseeing U.S. milk marketing and Farm Services, along with the 23 commercial manufacturing plants and marketing operations of DFA’s Global Ingredient Solutions Division.

Prior to joining DFA, Rodenbaugh had an extensive background in banking and finance, as well as ownership and management of dairy farms and other agri-businesses, the Board of Directors detailed.

Rodenbaugh commented: “As I work with my leadership team on strategic imperatives, a focus on investment, innovation, valuing our members, and advocating for their ability to achieve their goals.”

Our farmer-ownership, alongside our infrastructure, offers the opportunity and motivation for us to position dairy as the sustainable source of nutrition to feed a global population.”

He added that during his tenure, DFA’s core focus will always be on marketing its members’ milk.

Rodenbaugh urged the DFA’s farmer-leaders, members, and employees across the Cooperative “to ensure they remain true to the purpose of delivering value to DFA.

They should also ensure DFA is at the forefront when needed by members and consumers every day

In addition to his new role at DFA, Rodenbaugh also serves as chairman of Newtrient, on the executive board of directors for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), and on the executive committee.

He is also a board member for International Dairy Foods Association, and on the boards for a number of other DFA fluid milk affiliates.

Rodenbaugh has joined the cooperative at a time when it is under pressure to continue posting impressive financial results.

DFA had an increase of US$28million or 16.4% net income in its 2021 financial results for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2021, compared to US$171million for 2020.

The dairy cooperative said the net income, excluding significant non-recurring items, was primarily driven by lower general and administrative costs and other expenses.

In addition, DFA’s net sales totaled US$19.3billion for 2021, compared to US$17.9billion in 2020, an increase of US$1.5billion or 8.1%.

The increase was attributed to a full year of operations of the facilities acquired as a result of Dean Foods’ bankruptcy compared to a partial year in 2020, along with a higher US all-milk price.

In 2021, DFA continued to integrate the plant assets and regional brands acquired out of the Dean bankruptcy into the cooperative as it focused on expanding its global customer base and growing global demand for dairy products.

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