Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the nation’s largest dairy farmer-owned milk marketing cooperative, has purchased milk, juice and fruit drink processor Dairy Maid Dairy.
The acquisition is part of DFA's plan to increase its commercial footprint and expand in the fresh dairy category. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, though the real estate value of the Dairy Maid property is estimated at more than $4 million.
Dairy Maid, based in Frederick, Md., has been owned and operated by the Vona family since 1946 and is currently led by brothers Jimmy and Jody. Its customers consist mainly of major grocery chains, schools and governmental entities, such as prisons and military installations.
The acquisition aligns with DFA’s objective to “increase its commercial footprint and expand ownership in the fluid and fresh dairy category,” said DFA president and CEO Rick Smith in a statement.
“The Vonas have built a solid business and earned a reputation for quality products and superior service and is business our dairy farmer member owners can be proud of,” he added in the release.
Despite the change in ownership, Dairy Maid’s 110 employees will retain their positions, and milk procurement will not be disrupted for existing customers. The Vonas will continue to oversee day-to-day operations once the sale is complete.
“We are pleased to be able to become part of the DFA family,” said Jimmy Vona in the statement. “DFA shares many of the same values that my family does. This transaction ensures the business we have built over the past four decades will continue to thrive in the future.”
DFA, a cooperative of more than 8,000 farm families in 48 states, has been ramping up its investments in the milk and ice cream in recent years, with acquisitions including St. Paul, Minn.-based Kemps and Guida’s Dairy, New Britain, Conn.