Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) said it plans to discontinue operations at its Nashville, Tenn., Country Delite Farms manufacturing facility in February 2022.

“Business decisions that impact people’s lives are always difficult,” said Tom Murray, president, DFA Dairy Brands South. “We evaluated multiple options to make the facility profitable, and it became apparent that ceasing operations was the best long-term strategy. The employees at this facility have done an excellent job, and we greatly appreciate all their hard work and dedication.”

The plant will stop operating on Feb. 11, 2022. To assist employees impacted by the closing, Kansas City, Kan.-based DFA said it would work with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development to identify local employment opportunities. Plans are also in place to set up an on-site job fair and other resources to help employees transition into new opportunities. In addition, relocation assistance is being offered to employees interested in positions at other select DFA locations.

The Country Delite Farms manufacturing facility in Nashville produces a variety of milk products. The closure does not impact DFA’s other Nashville manufacturing facility, which produces Purity dairy products, DFA said.


Phoenix-based Shamrock Farms said its Rockin’ Protein brand will take the court as the newest sponsor of USA Pickleball. Rockin’ Protein will be the official protein and recovery beverage of USA Pickleball, while Shamrock Farms will be the official milk of the association.

“USA Pickleball and Rockin’ Protein are a perfect match,” said Ann Ocaña, chief marketing officer for Shamrock Foods Co., parent company to Shamrock Farms. “Pickleball is a fun sport that continues to grow and appeals to a broad range of athletes of all skill level. It directly aligns with Rockin’ Protein’s core consumers — those who seek a natural, great-tasting protein beverage that will help power their game.”

Rockin’ Protein will support the association through a variety of advertising, digital and social media and public relations efforts, while also fueling its more than 40,000 athletes with high-quality protein. Additionally, Rockin’ Protein will highlight USA Pickleball’s star athletes and top plays as the presenting sponsor of the “Rockin’ Protein: Rockin’ Good Performance of the Match” during upcoming ESPN broadcasts, Shamrock Farms said.


Berner Food and Beverage LLC, a Dakota, Ill.-based private label and contract manufacturing supplier of dairy-based and other food and beverage products, said it added several new members to the company’s leadership team. Kelly Diamond, formerly vice president of operations, was named chief operations officer. David Dunavant joined the company as chief financial officer, and Shelia Kolden joined as director of procurement, sales and operations planning.


The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), Madison, Wis., said its next round of spring trainings will begin in February 2022.

WCMA’s Front-Line Leadership classes are designed for new and seasoned supervisors looking to build their skills in conflict resolution, communication, stress and time management, and cultivation of a team mentality. Front-Line Leadership sessions are offered a la carte and may be taken in any order. WCMA said it will again offer these trainings in a hybrid format in 2022, allowing participants to join via Zoom or in-person in Madison.

Front-Line Leadership Part A, scheduled for Feb. 10, 2022, will focus on developing essential leadership skills. On March 17, Front-Line Leadership Part B will provide strategies to help supervisors boost staff performance. WCMA said the spring series will conclude with Front-Line Leadership Part C on April 7, related to cultivating a team.

Additionally, WCMA said it would offer its unique Next Step Leadership course on March 31. This workshop is open to established leaders who have completed any of WCMA’s leadership trainings. Each year, Next Step Leadership pairs a review of familiar concepts with fresh materials covering a specific topic. In 2022, the class will focus on talent retention strategies.

WCMA members interested in participating in the spring sessions may register at WisCheeseMakers.org/Trainings. Questions about WCMA’s educational programming can be directed to Rebekah Sweeney at rsweeney@wischeesemakers.org or 608-386-3012.


According to the latest dairy report from Rabobank, Utrecht, Netherlands, global milk supply growth halted in the second half of this year, bringing the market to levels not seen since 2014. Weather-related issues decimated Oceania’s peak production, and margin erosion in the United States and Europe slowed growth. Production gains in South America were not enough to offset these developments.

“We anticipate a modest recovery in the second half of 2022, but that will require favorable weather and the tempering of feed costs,” says Mary Ledman, global dairy strategist at Rabobank.

High feed prices and general input cost inflation are common themes across the major milk-producing regions, Rabobank said. While farmgate milk prices are approaching new highs in Oceania, Europe and the United States, farm margins remain tight. Adequate milk prices across much of the world offset higher cost pressures. Nevertheless, the rising costs of inputs, lack of labor, unfavorable weather and questionable feed quality will continue to limit dairy production.

Dairy exports slowed in response to logistic disruptions, rising transportation costs and elevated commodity prices — in addition to the supply reduction, the company noted. The expected slowdown in import demand from China is needed to cool prices in the face of limited supply-side increases.

Rabobank said it expects that higher commodity prices from the second half of 2021 will be passed along to consumers in the new year. Eventually, as consumers face price hikes, demand will be negatively impacted, particularly in emerging economies.


SCS Global Services said it was approved to perform validation and verification under Verra’s Plastic Waste Reduction Program. The program focuses on plastic waste collection, sorting and production of recycled materials involving manual, mechanical and chemical processes that typically would not allow for a second life of the material.

The program recognizes projects that have improved or scaled up existing plastic waste collection and recycling efforts or are developing new initiatives and programs, based on demonstration of conformance with the requirements of the Plastic Waste Reduction Standard, said Emeryville, Calif.-based SCS Global Services. For more information about the program, visit www.scsglobalservices.com/services/verra-plastic-waste-reduction-standard.


GEA, Düsseldorf, Germany, said it is expanding capacity at its in-house test center in Ahaus, Germany, by adding two more modules to its technology offering. With this addition, GEA is raising the Ahaus test center’s profile as a key facility dedicated to piloting aseptic processing, as well as the filling of sensitive foods and beverages.

The new 500-liter GEA Batch Formula PRO high shear test mixer is designed for customers that want to implement their own product tests before scaling up to full production. The GEA aseptic filling pilot plant, meanwhile, is the second new unit at the Ahaus Test Center, GEA said. It is designed for producers of sensitive beverages that want to conduct feasibility studies to develop new products, trial expanding to series production, select technologies and optimize existing small-scale processes.


Seeq Corp., a Seattle-based provider of manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things advanced analytics software, said it reached an agreement with Houston-headquartered Saudi Aramco to further expand its operational analytics strategy as part of the company’s ongoing Digital Transformation program. The agreement will provide Saudi Aramco engineers and subject matter experts with Seeq’s self-service analytics, predictive modeling data analytics and visualization tools.


FoodChain ID, a Deerfield, Ill.-based provider of technology-enabled food safety, quality and sustainability solutions, said it acquired Verdant, a Southlake, Texas-headquartered provider of consulting and Software-as-a-Service products and development services. FoodChain ID is a portfolio company of Berkshire Partners.