The board of directors and management of Dairy Farmers of America Inc. announce the addition of a well-known leader in the dairy industry, Alan Bernon, to the cooperative. Bernon will serve as senior advisor and president–Affiliate Division.

In this role, he will help provide oversight to DFA’s varied investments and joint ventures. In addition, he will help guide and support any future merger, acquisition and joint-venture opportunities for the national milk marketing cooperative.

Bernon brings a solid track record of leadership in the dairy industry to his role at DFA. Most recently, he served as president of Dean Foods Dairy Group. Bernon began his dairy career in 1976 when he joined his brother, Peter, in the family business, Garelick Farms, in Franklin, Mass. The business was founded in 1931 by Bernon’s grandfather, Israel Garelick. In 1985, Bernon became president, and under the brothers’ leadership, Garelick became one of New England’s leading brands. The Garelick Farms’ Franklin facility is the country’s largest fluid milk processor.

In 1997, the Bernons sold the Garelick companies to Suiza Foods. It was this acquisition that launched Suiza on its path as the leading consolidator of dairy businesses throughout the United States. In 2001, Suiza acquired Dean Foods and the company’s name.

Following the sale of Garelick to Suiza, Bernon joined the Dean Foods Co. Board of Directors, while also assuming responsibility for Dean’s Northeast region as its chief operating officer. Bernon played a key role in identifying, acquiring and integrating Dean’s expanded operations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Bernon became president of Dean Foods Dairy Group in January 2006.

“I am honored that Alan has agreed to join us in our mission to make DFA a stronger, more successful organization, and one that delivers greater value to our farmer owners,” said Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer of DFA. “Alan’s experience, entrepreneurial success and integrity make him an invaluable asset to DFA.”

In his tenure at Dean Foods, Bernon is credited with increasing sales in the company’s Northeast region from $300 million in 1997 to approximately $1.5 billion in 2003.

Bernon and his family will continue to reside in Dallas.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc. is a milk marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 18,000 dairy farmers in 48 states. DFA is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 888/DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit