Dairy Farmers of America Issues Patronage Checks Early

Cooperative to Pay $11.4 Million to its Members
April 24, 2009

Kansas City, Mo. - In an ongoing effort to ease the stress these economically challenging times are causing for its members, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) is issuing a portion of members’ patronage-sourced earnings early.

Patronage is the Cooperative’s way of sharing the earnings of DFA with its members. Beginning this week, 12,312 members who marketed their milk through DFA in 2008 will receive a cash patronage payment equal to 3 cents per hundredweight. A total of $11.4 million is being paid to DFA members.

“It’s always been the commitment of the Board of Directors to share the earnings of the Cooperative with our members annually,” said Tom Camerlo, chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “This year, we felt it was important to deliver this check earlier in the year and in cash with the hope that we can provide some assistance in this tough time.”

A remaining allocation for 2008 patronage will be paid to members by September 15. The amount of patronage each year is based on the amount of milk each member markets through the Cooperative.

In addition, DFA has several other initiatives underway to assist members during this difficult time, including:

  • The DFA Cares Hotline, a toll-free number that gives DFA members access to market information and answers to general questions and referrals to a Member Assistance Program, which offers professional advice and guidance on financial and legal matters and stress management.
  • DFA staff is working closely with other industry groups and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to enact government programs, like the Dairy Export Incentive Program, that could provide immediate relief to the nation’s dairy farmers. DFA’s Board of Directors are also making personal visits to their legislative representatives next month to talk about the situation facing dairy producers.
  • DFA also offers several programs and services designed to help members manage their on-farm costs and their price volatility risk. Forward contracting services through Dairy Risk Management Services and bulk-buying programs are just two examples.