Dennis Rodenbaugh to succeed Richard Smith as Dairy Farmers of America CEO

USA – U.S. national milk marketing cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has announced the appointment of Dennis Rodenbaugh as its next president and CEO. 

Rodenbaugh will succeed current president and CEO Richard (Rick) Smith who is set to retire towards the end of next year after more than 15 years at the helm. 

“Rick is an iconic and dynamic leader who has been instrumental in transforming DFA’s culture and business, and we will be forever grateful to him for his tremendous leadership and are proud of where we are today,” said DFA board chairman, Randy Mooney. 

 Rodenbaugh joined the cooperative in 2007 and has led various DFA business units, including milk marketing, member services, and global ingredient divisions.  

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“I appreciate the opportunity to take on this leadership role for such an amazing organisation where I have the continued privilege to work with our farmer-leaders, our members and with DFA’s very talented team of management and employees, as well as our customers across the country and globally,” Rodenbaugh said. 

Rodenbaugh, who has a background in dairy farm management and ownership, as well as banking and finance, currently serves as executive vice president, DFA, and president, council operations and ingredients solutions. 

He has led initiatives to drive member services, customer relationships, operational efficiencies, business development, and marketing strategies designed to deliver value to DFA member-owners and meet the needs of the cooperative’s valued customers and consumers.  

As part of DFA’s senior management team, he has helped lead strategic planning, crisis preparedness, business continuity and other enterprise-wide initiatives, the cooperative said. 

“In Dennis, we have a strategic leader who has a deep understanding of our family farm-owners, a strong vision for the future of DFA and a proven ability to lead,’ Mooney added. 

“Through his years of experience and performance with our organization, he has earned the respect and support of the board and employees alike.” 

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Sustainable milk cooling programme 

Earlier this year, DFA teamed up with Bel Brands USA  to launch a sustainable milk cooling program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The companies intend to implement and measure sustainable cooling practices, in an effort to cut energy usage and reduce the carbon footprint on dairy farms. 

The 12-month pilot program will see the companies support the adoption of energy-efficient milk cooling methods – such as natural well water cooling practices – by a dairy farm in Iowa that supplies milk to Bel Brands. 

While Bel will co-finance the cooling mechanism; DFA’s sustainability team will work with the Iowa farm to gather data on the energy and economic savings of these practices compared to high-energy flash chillers. 

Ultimately, in the future, Bel and DFA intend to implement these new cooling methods on other US dairy farms to ensure sustainability throughout the supply chain. 

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