Metro’s Largest Private Company Just Got Bigger

Dairy Farmers of America, the largest private company in the Kansas City metropolitan area, has added another organization to its portfolio. A majority of the 360-farm board of St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, in Vermont, voted to merge with DFA. 

The move strengthens Kansas City, Kan.-based DFA in the Northeast, where it has nearly 2,500 member farms. St. Albans had about $322 million in annual revenue during its most recent fiscal year, according to CEO Leon Berthiaume. DFA, which ranked at the top of the Ingram’s 100, had sales last year of $13.6 billion.

The deal includes the St. Albans Cooperative Store, which sells feed, farm hardware and other items; as well as its creamery and plant. The 100-year-old cooperative has been a member partner with DFA since 2003 in efforts to enhance marketing. Now as a part of DFA, St. Albans farmers will benefit from the larger organization’s wealth of technological experience to help offset lower margins felt by the industry, Berthiaume said.

St. Albans produces much of the cream for the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand. It’s membership is in its home state as well as New Hampshire and New York.

Meanwhile, earlier this month DFA inked an agreement with California Dairies to combine their marketing and transportation efforts in that state.