The farm families of St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, St. Albans, Vt., overwhelmingly approved a merger with Kansas City, Kan.-based Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). The merger reflects a desire to position St. Albans members for a secure, long-term future amid rapidly changing market dynamics, DFA said.
“We are incredibly excited about this new chapter for dairy farmers in Vermont,” said Harold Howrigan, Jr., chairman of the St. Albans board and sixth-generation dairy farmer. “We are very pleased with the outcome of today’s vote and are optimistic about the future our membership will have as DFA members.”
St. Albans has been an integral part of the Vermont dairy community for the past century, and a member cooperative of DFA since 2003.
“During our 16-year partnership, we have developed a strong, collaborative working partnership with DFA,” said Leon Berthiaume, CEO of St. Albans Cooperative Creamery. “In many ways, this merger is a continuation of the strategic goals, values and mission of St. Alban’s Cooperative Creamery.”
As a national dairy marketing cooperative, DFA said it offers St. Albans members milk market security, investments in a nationwide network of manufacturing facilities, access to patronage dividends and valuable member programs and services.
“We are excited to welcome the hardworking members and employees of St. Albans to the DFA family,” said Brad Keating, senior vice president and chief operating officer of DFA’s Northeast Area. “Together, we are committed to investing in continuing the strong tradition of dairy farming in the Northeast.”
As part of the merger, McDermotts, a hauling company owned by St. Albans, the St. Albans Cooperative Store and St. Albans Cooperative Creamery plant, will become wholly owned subsidiaries of DFA. In addition, the board of directors of St. Albans Cooperative will continue to represent dairy farmers’ interests as part of DFA’s Northeast Area Council, DFA said.
The merger will officially close on Aug. 1.