The board of directors of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a Kansas City, Kan.-based milk marketing cooperative and global dairy foods company, announced the appointment of Dennis Rodenbaugh as president and CEO of DFA, effective at the end of 2022. Rodenbaugh will succeed Richard P. (Rick) Smith, who plans to retire after leading the organization for the past 16 years.

Rodenbaugh, who has a background in dairy farm management and ownership, as well as banking and finance, currently serves as executive vice president and president, council operations and Ingredients Solutions for DFA. He has led numerous business units since joining the organization in 2007, DFA said, including DFA’s milk marketing, member services and global ingredient divisions.

Rodenbaugh has led initiatives to drive member services, customer relationships, operational efficiencies, business development and marketing strategies designed to deliver value to DFA member-owners and meet the needs of the cooperative’s valued customers and consumers. As part of DFA’s senior management team, he has helped lead strategic planning, crisis preparedness, business continuity and other enterprise-wide initiatives, the cooperative said.

“Rick is an iconic and dynamic leader who has been instrumental in transforming DFA’s culture and business, and we will be forever grateful to him for his tremendous leadership and are proud of where we are today,” said DFA board Chairman Randy Mooney. “In Dennis, we have a strategic leader who has a deep understanding of our family farm-owners, a strong vision for the future of DFA and a proven ability to lead. Through his years of experience and performance with our organization, he has earned the respect and support of the board and employees alike.”

Smith had praise for Rodenbaugh.

“Dennis embodies the values of DFA,” he said. “He is an integrity-based leader with a passion for bringing value to our farmer-owners. We are confident he will help navigate the organization into its next chapter successfully.”