The new organization, which will serve the western US, will be known as Dairy MAX, combines 35 employees of the previous Dairy MAX and 10 from WDA. The merger came as a result of discussions between the companies’ boards of directors.
Dairy MAX and WDA represent more than 900 dairy farm families across Colorado, southwest Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
According to chief executive officer Mike Konkle, the decision to merge was an easy one given the two organizations' similar programming, vision and resources.
"Dairy MAX highlights the importance of American agriculture and dairy farming, helping to grow impact in our communities year after year. We believe that dairy products are simple solutions to everyday hunger, nutrition and dietary needs – and that's a key message we're committed to sharing as part of the newly shaped Dairy MAX," Konkle told DairyReporter.
Konkle was appointed CEO of the separate companies in April 2017 and given the direction to bring them together as one organization over the course of the next year. The two officially merged on April 2, 2018.
The headquarters of the new Dairy MAX will remain in Grand Prairie, Texas, with five employees on-site and the remaining 40 working remotely as far afield as Denver, Col. The WDA headquarters were in Colorado prior to the merger.
Promoting dairy education and consumption
After 12 years of experience working with dairy farmers and 10 of those served in an executive role, Konkle said he encourages the nationwide effort to promote dairy, increase consumption and provide educational information to the public.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to work for dairy farmers because of who they are and the amazing products that come from dairy. The quality of the dairy farmers as people and families is just outstanding,” Konkle said.
Dairy MAX coordinates five distinct programs for audience outreach and plans to use the merger to further bolster them. Efforts in business development, consumer communications, health and wellness, industry image and relations and school marketing will all continue to take high priority at Dairy MAX moving forward.
“Our programming aligned very closely before the merger, so it’s just fine-tuning. We’ve had the opportunity to really stay focused on the business and maintain our momentum as an organization in going through the merger,” Konkle said.
“The organization is stronger today than it was pre-merger. I think the future is bright for the region and we always do remember who we work for, and that’s dairy farmers.”