Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a Kansas City, Kan.-based cooperative owned by family farmers, announced the companies participating in the 2019 DFA Accelerator program. The seven companies selected for the program will engage in a 90-day immersive program that is part of the Sprint Accelerator program; the program launched on April 1 and runs through June. Startups in two verticals — ag tech and dairy food products — will work directly with leaders from DFA, CoBank, Sprint and other industry experts and mentors to create strategic, long-term partnerships.

“It has been rewarding to help mentor these entrepreneurs, and we’re thrilled to get started with another class for this year’s DFA Accelerator,” said Monica Massey, executive vice president and chief of staff at DFA. “Plus, we’ve found that we learn along the way too. By working and collaborating with ag tech and dairy food startup companies, we’re helping develop solutions that will not only provide value for our farm families and their operations, but will also help drive consumer demand for dairy.”

Features of the 90-day program, DFA said, include:

  • Targeted strategic meetings with the corporate teams to discuss business development, pilots and potential sponsorships.
  • Mentoring from DFA senior staff and their networks, as well as from the investor, business development and entrepreneurial communities.
  • Business-building sessions around product, brand, marketing and entrepreneurship.
  • State-of-the-art workspace facilities provided at Sprint Accelerator in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.

The 2019 DFA Accelerator ag tech class participants include:

  • Bezoar Laboratories (Bryan, Texas). Bezoar’s current innovation is a patent-pending probiotic for cattle that, when paired with nitrate, decreases their methane production by 50% while providing additional benefits, DFA said.
  • Cattle Care (San Francisco). Using low-cost video cameras, Cattle Care detects, recognizes and tracks every cow, as well as business processes, and makes decisions for the farmer about the treatment of a particular cow or a whole barn.
  • Healthy Cow (Toronto). Healthy Cow is an ag-biotechnology helping dairy farmers to produce more wholesome, natural and nutritious milk while simultaneously reducing their dependence on antibiotics and hormones, DFA noted.
  • Labby (Boston). Labby is an artificial intelligence-powered smartphone platform for food and agro analytics.

The 2019 DFA Accelerator dairy food products class participants include:

  • Brooklyn Buttery (New York): Brooklyn Buttery is reimagining butter for the 21st century as a fun, convenient product for home cooks to turn up the flavor on their dishes using sustainably sourced ingredients, DFA said.
  • Numa (Bridgewater, N.J.): Numa makes all-natural sweet, chewy milk treats with just six natural ingredients and 4 grams of protein.
  • RifRaf (New York). RifRaf offers cool, creamy ricotta cups that are one part cheese and one part “unexpectedly delicious flavor,” DFA noted.

Visit the Sprint Accelerator calendar for public opportunities to engage with these companies at sprintaccel.com. The Accelerator program culminates on Demo Day, June 27, during which the startups showcase their ideas, DFA said.