At a recent Board of Directors meeting of the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the board announced that Dennis Rodenbaugh would be taking the helm as president and CEO of the Kansas City, Kansas-based nonprofit cooperative. Rodenbaugh succeeds Richard (Rick) P. Smith, who officially stepped down on June 30 after 16 years of service.

Rodenbaugh joined DFA in 2007 and has held several leadership roles throughout the organization. Most recently, he held the title of executive vice president, council operations, and president, Ingredient Solutions, DFA says. In that role, Rodenbaugh was responsible for overseeing U.S. milk marketing and Farm Services, along with the 23 commercial manufacturing plants and marketing operations of DFA’s global Ingredient Solutions Division.

“Thanks to the preparation of the board, the conclusion of this transition is seamless in terms of our day-to-day business,” Rodenbaugh says. “I am excited about the future of our Cooperative. We are fully positioned with a great team and the talent in place to drive DFA forward to maximize value for our farmer-owners.

“DFA’s core focus will always be on marketing its members’ milk,” he continues. “As I work with my leadership team on strategic imperatives, a focus on investment, innovation, valuing our members and advocating for their ability to achieve their goals are just a few tenets of my vision for future success. Our farmer-ownership, alongside our infrastructure, offers the opportunity and motivation for us to position dairy as the sustainable source of nutrition to feed a global population.”

He concluded that he looks forward to working with DFA’s farmer-leaders, members and employees across the Cooperative “to ensure we remain true to our purpose — delivering value to our family-farm owners and ensuring DFA is at the forefront of where our members need us and where consumers expect us —today and into the future.”

In addition to his leadership position with DFA, Rodenbaugh also serves as chairman of Newtrient, on the executive board of directors for National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), on the executive committee and as a board member for International Dairy Foods Association, and on the boards for a number of other DFA fluid milk affiliates. Prior to joining DFA, Rodenbaugh had extensive background in banking and finance, as well as ownership and management of dairy farms and other agri-businesses.