California co-ops join forces to connect milk buyers and sellers

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California Dairies Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America create joint marketing agency to promote raw milk in the state
@TheSunGazette
VISALIA – California’s largest milk producer is partnering with one of the nation’s largest milk suppliers to concentrate on the sales, marketing and transportation of raw milk in California. 
On July 10, Visalia-based California Dairies, Inc. (CDI) and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) announced the creation of a marketing agency to benefit and bring efficiency to both cooperatives’ customers and members.
“Given the significant marketing and regulatory challenges that we’ve seen in California over the last few years, there was a mutual desire to reduce supply chain costs and create additional value and stability for our customers,” said Andrei Mikhalevsky, president and CEO California Dairies, Inc. “We would also like to help preserve the existing processing asset base in the state.”
With the establishment of a marketing agency in common, DFA and CDI will combine the raw milk marketing and transportation efforts for both cooperatives in California. The new marketing agency will allow both cooperatives to create market stability, milk balancing and enhanced customer service as part of short- and long-term strategies.
“Our organizations have worked closely over the past decade as the dairy industry in California, the U.S. and the world has become increasingly dynamic,” said Dennis Rodenbaugh, executive vice president of DFA and president of Council Operations. “We have similar goals and see tremendous opportunities with our two cooperatives working together in an increasingly close partnership.”
DFA organizes 267 farms into 10 districts in its western area encompassing California, Nevada and Arizona. DFA has two affiliated processing plants in the Valley, both owned by Leprino Foods and located in Lemoore.