A single-serve snack-sized cheese bar, facial recognition software for cows and nanotechnologies to help treat mastitis are just a few of the startup companies that are convening virtually this week as Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) launches its 2021 DFA CoLab Accelerator class.

“We’re really excited about this year’s class and the potential for their innovations,” said Doug Dresslaer, director of innovation for Kansas City, Kan.-based DFA. “It’s a very diverse group with some cutting-edge ag technologies that can help solve problems and benefit our farm family-owners, as well as product-focused startups that are exploring new possibilities for dairy foods.”

DFA said the DFA CoLab Accelerator Class of 2021 includes:


Dairy Food Products

  • Saga Ventures — designed a single-serve cheese snacking bar to provide healthy and satiable fuel between meals. It uses fresh California ingredients infused with 2 cups of milk, local fruits, nuts and spices to create a snack-sized cheeseboard with 17 grams of protein.
  • SimpliFed — uses the latest nutritional and microbiome science to develop a better, personalized organic formula and nutrition supplements to bridge the gap between breast milk and infant formula.
  • The Modern Milkman — designed an online platform that offers fresh, local quality products that are delivered right to consumers’ doorstep. The subscription-based model connects farmers with their communities and communities with fresh and local products.

Ag Tech

  • CattleEye — aims to deliver a deep learning, cloud-based AI platform that is designed to interpret visual imagery of cattle from industry standard web cameras. The platform autonomously identifies individual animals to extract insights, including measuring gait, applying mobility scores to track lameness, and other positive welfare indicators.
  • DairyOffice — designed as a central location for all data sets collected on a farm, this platform is built to integrate with herd management software and sensors, feed systems and ration formulation programs. The platform then manages the collection of data and provides various spreadsheets and other analytical tools that are updated with the collection of new data.
  • H2Ok Innovations — data analytics platform and propriety sensor that is designed to help manufacturers gain comprehensive, real-time visibility into industrial liquid systems. This enables data-driven optimization operations that can be used in manufacturing facilities, as well as potentially on farms.
  • VERI Nano — created a patent-pending nanotechnology that is utilized as a bovine teat sealant, disinfectant, antimicrobial coating and skincare and wound care treatment. It aims to be more cost-efficient and effective than current mastitis treatments.

The DFA CoLab Accelerator is a 90-day immersive program focused on dairy product innovations and new technologies for dairy farms. Startups will gain a thorough understanding of the dairy industry and will have the opportunity to work with top executives from DFA and other relevant investors and industry leaders. Throughout the program, participants will receive advice and participate in educational sessions on a variety of topics important for startup growth, DFA said, including finance, business development, distribution and supply chain, product development, brand building, sales and marketing, packaging and pricing.

For additional information, visit colab.dfamilk.com/. The 2021 DFA CoLab Accelerator will culminate with a Demo Day in late June, where the startups will pitch and showcase their ideas, DFA said.