Land O'Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Minn., selected six dairy companies to participate in the 2018 Land O'Lakes, Inc. Dairy Accelerator, a program supporting the dairy industry by providing tailored coursework and mentorship to dairy entrepreneurs. To qualify for consideration, each company was required to utilize dairy as a primary ingredient in their products.

"Our 2018 participating companies span dairy categories, demonstrating the vitality and versatility of dairy. We're excited to support the dairy industry by nurturing these innovators and entrepreneurs in the accelerator program," says Raquel Melo, vice president of innovation and new business development.

The 2018 Land O'Lakes Dairy Accelerator participants are:

Blue Marble Ice Cream, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based producer of organic ice cream and sorbet made of milk from certified organic, pasture-raised cows.

Darling Pickle Dips, a Minneapolis processor of refrigerated cream cheese dips made from a cream cheese and white bean base, combined with pickled vegetables, herbs and spices.

Norr Skyr, San Francisco, offers Icelandic-style, high-protein strained yogurt made from organic and grass-fed ingredients.

Numa Foods, Lansdale, Pa., produces milk-based chewy snacks inspired by Taiwanese nougat and infused with nuts and dried fruit.

SmashPack, Irvine, Calif., manufactures protein fruit smoothies and grass-fed pudding in on-the-go squeeze pouches.

Tulip Tree Creamery, Indianapolis, Ind., produces hand-crafted, soft-ripened, semi-soft and fresh cheeses and butter using traditional European recipes combined with the founders' own twist. All products are made from milk sourced from family dairies in Indiana.

Throughout the 3-month course, participants will meet with both Land O'Lakes and external business mentors and attend seminars focused on topics such as finance, brand building, sales and leadership development.