St. Albans Cooperative Creamery (SACC), Canada, announced a merger with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Kansas City, Kan., to help secure a long-term future amid rapidly changing market dynamics.

“Our board has been working nearly 2 years to strategically plan for the future of our members,” says Harold Howrigan, Jr., chairman of the SACC board of directors. “With increasing shifts in customer needs, an imbalance in supply and demand and a volatile milk price cycle, it is clear change is needed for our cooperative. However, with change comes great opportunity. DFA offers increased value to our members with the ability to make continued investments in operations, a clear vision for the future and the depth of leadership to carry out that vision.”

SACC has been an integral part of the Vermont dairy community for the past century, and a member cooperative of DFA since 2003. DFA offers SACC members milk market security, investments in a nationwide network of manufacturing facilities, access to patronage dividends and member programs and services.

Conversely, the merger provides DFA members with established customer relationships, investments in critical hauling and manufacturing assets in the Northeast and increased milk marketing activities in the region.

“DFA and St. Albans have always had closely aligned philosophies and values, with both cooperatives focused on providing value to members and committed to preserving the Northeast tradition of family dairy farming for years to come,” says Brad Keating, senior vice president and COO of DFA’s Northeast area. “With our strong history of working together, a merger is a natural evolution of our partnership.”

As part of the merger, McDermotts, Inc., an Enosburg Falls, Vt.-based hauling company currently owned and operated by SACC, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of DFA, as would the St. Albans Cooperative Store and St. Albans Cooperative Creamery Plant.

“I have seen the dairy industry evolve and the continued need for dairy farmers to work together. DFA has been a strategic partner, and I am very enthusiastic about what they will bring to our members, community and state,” says Leon Berthiaume, chief executive officer of SACC.