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Dairy Farmers of America to Merge with Dairylea in 2014

By Jean-Paul McDonald,

Dairy Farmers of America, the United States’ largest marketing cooperative, based in Kansas City, has approved a plan to merge with Dairylea Cooperative Inc, of Syracuse, New York.  Dairylea, a regional co-op in Upstate New York has about 2,000 members and markets around 6 billion pounds of milk per annum, while DFA has about 13,000 members and markets upwards of 61 billion pounds of milk per annum.

Although Dairylea is already a member co-op of DFA, the merger would bring together resources and expertise to form one of the largest dairy marketing services in the world.  "They have been so closely coordinated that this is going to be a pretty smooth transition," predicted Andrew Novakovic, Ph.D., an agricultural economist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

While many look at this merger as good thing, there are of course, the sceptics. "Not everybody is going to agree with this move," said Mary Fetter, who runs a Wyoming County dairy farm with her husband, Paul. They are DFA members.

"There's going to be unhappy DFA members," Fetter said. "Is it good or bad? Time is going to tell."

Dairylea members will vote on the proposed plan in February.

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