Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) announced the six startup companies that will participate in the cooperative’s 2022 CoLab Accelerator program.

“It’s always exciting to welcome a new class of startups into our CoLab Accelerator program, as these companies bring fresh thinking and ideas to benefit our farm family-owners and help further grow and invigorate the dairy case,” said Doug Dresslaer, director of cultural innovation for Kansas City, Kan.-based DFA. “This year, we’re particularly excited to take a hybrid approach with the program by bringing back more collaborative in-person sessions while also meeting virtually.”

The DFA CoLab Accelerator is a 90-day collaborative program focused on dairy product and processing innovations and new technologies for dairy farms, DFA said. 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 dairy industry leaders.

Throughout the program, participants will receive advice and participate in educational sessions on a variety of topics important for startup growth, DFA noted, including finance, business development, distribution and supply chain, product development, brand building, sales and marketing, packaging and pricing.

DFA said the 2022 DFA CoLab Accelerator class includes:

Dairy food products and dairy processing technology:

  • Smack’d, Lehi, Utah — The company aims to develop a delicious adult chocolate milk beverage that is high in protein, low in sugar and caffeinated.
  • Lyras, Aalborg, Denmark — The company developed a UV-light cold pasteurization technology that uses 90% less energy and 60% less water than traditional pasteurization.

Ag Tech:

  • Cattle Scan, Guelph, Ontario — Cattle Scan developed a real-time monitoring technology that measures the biometrics of individual cattle, starting with temperature. Data can be accessed on a cloud-based platform, allowing farmers to improve the overall health of their herds.
  • The Hago Energetics Co., Camarillo, Calif. — The company aims to helps farms, either cattle or dairy, convert waste such as manure into fuel cell-grade hydrogen using a patented carbon negative approach that does not involve hydrolysis. This hydrogen is expected to sell at a lower cost and have a lower carbon footprint than current methods.
  • Lemna, Gilbert, Ariz. — Lemna provides a comprehensive nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater through the use of duckweed (aquatic plants) in a controlled growth system. The duckweed also has the potential to provide farmers with a new revenue stream.
  • ReproHealth Technologies, Indianapolis — The company developed an innovative, patent-pending device that brings IVF technology to the farm. Founders believe the device could potentially double cattle embryo production and reduce reproduction costs.

Since launching six years ago, the DFA CoLab Accelerator has worked with 32 companies and has continued to work with the majority of these companies in some capacity, DFA said. To date, 94% of the alumni companies are still in business today.

For additional information about the DFA CoLab Accelerator, visit colab.dfamilk.com/. The 2022 DFA CoLab Accelerator will culminate with a Demo Day presentation in late June, where the startups will pitch and showcase their ideas, DFA said.