Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) opened the doors to its new headquarters building in Kansas City, Kan. The 3-story, 110,000-square-foot building, which was designed by HOK, St. Louis, Mo., honors the cooperative’s dairy farmer members.

“This building is a testament to our family farmers and the sustainable practices they employ on their dairies each and every day,” says Rick Smith, president and CEO. “We intentionally designed it to use more natural materials like reclaimed woods, concretes and metals, so there’s a welcoming feel, while still being very modern and fully equipped for how the world works today. It’s not a typical corporate office space, but it absolutely functions like one.”

Throughout the building, there are a number of other unique design touches and furnishings that pay homage to life on the farm and the production of milk, including the use of upholsteries like plaid and cow hide for various seating areas. Artistic feature walls showcase aspects of DFA’s business from a barn board and milk bottle caps to steel pipes representing its numerous milk processing plants. Finally, as visitors enter the building’s lobby, they are greeted by a large Milk Pour sculpture to represent and remind employees and visitors about what’s at the core of DFA – producing nutritious and delicious milk and dairy products.

Focus on sustainability

Qualifying as a Silver LEED-certified building, the new headquarters includes a number of sustainable design practices such as panels of glass framing the building’s exterior and the use of under floor air throughout the space.

Other sustainable elements in the building include:

  • 100% LED lighting with automatic energy-saving mode.
  • Composting trash and recycling throughout the building.
  • Two electric car charging stations.
  • Several reserved fuel efficiency parking spots.

DFA’s new headquarters building was also designed with employees in mind, including first-class amenities and an open, modern and flexible work environment to help encourage teamwork and collaboration.

Meeting spaces and work stations can be easily changed to support growth. Most can be reconfigured so that walls and offices can be put up or torn down to accommodate a team’s needs. Individual work stations include adjustable desks that allow employees to sit or stand as well as ergonomic chairs and dual monitors. The building also features a variety of unique meeting spaces and nooks – providing employees a variety of places to get together and meet throughout the office, without utilizing a formal conference room.

“We think this new headquarters will play a key role in helping us attract and also retain high-quality talent, which will help ensure DFA’s continued growth and success,” says Monica Massey, senior vice president and chief of staff. “Our goal is to be an employer of choice in Kansas City, and this building and all its amenities reflects that commitment to focus on employee satisfaction.”

One of the amenities offered at DFA’s new headquarters is a full-service café managed by Elite Cuisine, St. Louis, Mo., which provides indoor and outdoor seating for employees and includes refrigerated grab-and-go items, a fully stocked salad bar as well as a variety of freshly-prepared hot food stations serving daily specials.

Additional building amenities include:

  • State-of-the-art fitness center featuring free weights, cardio equipment, group classes and an on-site trainer, along with full-service locker rooms.
  • Outdoor courtyard as well as four outdoor meeting spaces and terraces.
  • Multi-purpose room.
  • Regulation bocce ball, basketball court and walking trail surrounding the building.
  • Visitor business center.
  • A 24/7 milk bar serving three varieties of ice cold milk.