Doug Dresslaer

Doug Dresslaer, director of cultural innovation for Kansas City, Kan.-based Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), joins us for Episode 16 of the Let’s Talk Dairy podcast to talk about the DFA CoLab Accelerator.

Dresslaer works with DFA farmer members and employees to foster a culture of innovation within the cooperative to help keep DFA at the forefront of emerging technologies and trends in the industry. Prior to joining DFA in 2019, he worked with the cooperative as managing director of the T-Mobile and DFA Accelerator program (now the DFA CoLab Accelerator program), working with startups to help build partnerships between small businesses and T-Mobile and DFA.

The DFA CoLab Accelerator is a 90-day collaborative program focused on dairy product and processing innovations and new technologies for dairy farms. Since launching six years ago, the accelerator has worked with 32 companies and has continued to work with the majority of these companies in some capacity. 

In this episode, Dresslaer discusses:

  • The criteria DFA relies on to choose the dairy processing startups that will participate in each yearly program.
  • The work DFA typically does with each startup on the dairy processing side – and how that work benefits these startups.
  • Past dairy processing startup(s) that stand out in terms of taking the learnings and translating them into a business success story.
  • Smack’d out of Lehi, Utah, and Lyras out of Denmark — two participants in this year’s DFA CoLab Accelerator program that are tied to dairy processing operations.

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