Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a cooperative owned by family farmers across the United States, said it is beginning to recruit startups for its 2020 Accelerator program, which helps mentor and grow companies in the areas of ag technology and dairy food products.

For the 2020 program, DFA is seeking early-stage food product companies that are dairy-focused or dairy-based. On the ag tech front, the company is looking for companies with ag-tech applications related to any portion of the dairy value chain, including but not limited to product testing, data management, herd health and management, supply chain optimization, sustainability and traceability.

“For the food vertical, we’re looking to find companies that are doing new and interesting things with dairy as the main component,” said Doug Dresslaer, director of innovation at DFA. “With ag tech, our goal is to identify companies with applications or technologies that can help us improve processes or reduce margins to ultimately enhance productivity on our members’ farms.”

The DFA Accelerator is a 90-day immersive program with a combination of on-site meetings and virtual programs to provide training, growth opportunities and mentorship, DFA said. Most startup participants typically spend about four weeks in Kansas City, Kan., where DFA is headquartered.

Throughout the program, startups have numerous opportunities to meet with a variety of DFA executives and other relevant investors and industry leaders. Participants also receive guidance and advice on business development, product development, marketing and other key aspects of startup growth.

“Ultimately, we’re looking for companies where we see long-term potential, as the end goal is to hopefully help and partner with them in some way,” Dresslaer said.

Additional details and applications are available on the DFA Accelerator site. The 2020 DFA Accelerator program will begin on March 30, 2020.