Dairy Farmers of America announces 2022 CoLab accelerator program startups

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Six start-ups are participating, in ag tech and dairy food products and dairy processing technology. Pic: Getty Images/shironosov
Six start-ups are participating, in ag tech and dairy food products and dairy processing technology. Pic: Getty Images/shironosov

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A nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater, in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology for the farm and a new caffeinated, high protein chocolate milk beverage for adults are among the solutions of startup companies selected to participate in the 2022 DFA CoLAB Accelerator program.

“It’s always exciting to welcome a new class of startups into our CoLAB Accelerator program as these companies bring fresh thinking and ideas to benefit our farm family-owners and help further grow and invigorate the dairy case,”​ says Doug Dresslaer, director of cultural innovation at DFA.

“This year, we’re particularly excited to take a hybrid approach with the program by bringing back more collaborative, in-person sessions while also meeting virtually.”

The DFA CoLAB Accelerator is a 90-day collaborative program focused on dairy product and processing innovations and new technologies for dairy farms. Startups will gain an understanding of the dairy industry and will have the opportunity to work with executives from DFA and other relevant investors and dairy industry leaders.

Throughout the program, participants will receive advice and participate in educational sessions on a variety of topics important for startup growth, including finance, business development, distribution and supply chain, product development, brand building, sales and marketing, packaging and pricing.

The 2022 DFA CoLAB Accelerator Class

Ag Tech

Cattle Scan​ (Guelph, Canada) – Real-time monitoring technology to measure the biometrics of individual cattle, starting with temperature. Data can be accessed on a cloud-based platform, allowing farmers to improve the overall health of their herds.

The Hago Energetics Company​ (Camarillo, Calif.) – Aims to helps farms, either cattle or dairy, convert waste, like manure, into fuel cell grade hydrogen using a patented carbon negative approach that does not involve hydrolysis. This hydrogen is expected to sell at a lower cost and have a lower carbon footprint than current methods.

Lemna​ (Gilbert, Ariz.) – Provides a comprehensive nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater through the use of duckweed in a controlled growth system. The duckweed also has the potential to provide farmers with a new revenue stream.

ReproHealth Technologies​ (Indianapolis, Ind.) – A patent-pending device that brings IVF technology to the farm. Founders believe the device could potentially double cattle embryo production and reduce reproduction costs.

Dairy Food Products and Dairy Processing Technology

Smack’d ​(Lehi, Utah) – Aims to develop an adult chocolate milk beverage high in protein, low in sugar and caffeinated.

Lyras​ (Aalborg, Denmark) – Developed a UV-light cold pasteurization technology that uses 90% less energy and 60% less water compared to traditional pasteurization.

Since launching six years ago, the DFA CoLAB Accelerator has worked with 32 companies and has continued to work with the majority of the companies in some capacity. To date, 94% of the alumni companies are still in business.

The 2022 DFA CoLAB Accelerator will culminate with a Demo Day presentation in late June, where the startups will pitch and showcase their ideas.

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