At the Annual Meeting held this week, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) officials reported a net income of $94.1 million. The value is a significant increase from the Cooperative’s $43.1 million income in 2014, and is attributable to strong performances from DFA’s commercial operations and affiliates.
DFA’s 2015 net sales totaled $13.8 billion, compared to $17.9 billion in 2014. Low milk prices were a key player in the decrease, as U.S. milk prices averaged $17.08 per hundredweight in 2015, compared with $23.97 in 2014.
“Providing value to our dairy-farmer members is the focus for everything that we do at DFA,” said Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer. “In 2015, we had a successful year and took strong action to support key strategic initiatives — most notably in the areas of assuring supply chain integrity, growing our commercial businesses and driving performance through innovation.”
In 2015, DFA directed the marketing of 62 billion pounds of milk for member and non-member farmers across the nation, representing approximately 30 percent of the total milk production in the United States. The average 2015 price paid to members per hundredweight of milk was $17.18, compared with $24.17 in 2014.
Cash distributed to members in 2015 totaled $35 million, an significant increase compared to $28 million in 2014. In 2015, members received $20 million in equity retirements and $15 million of allocated patronage dividends.
In 2015, DFA expanded its commercial investments through the acquisition of the remaining ownership interest in DairiConcepts, an innovative cheese and dairy manufacturer. DFA was previously invested in the business as a joint venture partner. DairiConcepts plays a key role in DFA’s strategy, helping to expand its ingredients division and extend its global marketing outreach. DFA also broke ground on a new dairy ingredients plant in Garden City, Kansas, this year. The state-of-the-art plant will produce whole, skim and nonfat dry milk powders, as well as cream, and is a partnership between DFA and a group of member farms in Southwest Kansas.
DFA has also launched Live Real Farms Energy Drink, a brand and product developed completely by DFA. Live Real Farms Energy Drink incorporates the nutrition of dairy into an innovative product geared toward millennial families.