AMPI And First District Partner

Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) and First District Association (FDA) announced today the formation of a jointly owned Common Marketing Agency (CMA) of the two Minnesota-based dairy cooperatives.

The CMA will optimize operational and supply chain efficiencies to benefit members and customers. This includes enhanced on-farm services, better utilizing manufacturing capacity and serving domestic and global customers with an expanded dairy product portfolio.

“We see endless opportunities to leverage our dairy farmer-owned assets,” said Josh Barka, chairman of the FDA Board of Directors. “The CMA exemplifies the cooperative principle of cooperation among cooperatives.”

“The CMA is a natural progression for two like-minded cooperatives to better position themselves for long-term strength,” said Steve Schlangen, chairman of the AMPI Board of Directors.

“The strategy of forming CMAs was in use before the Capper-Volstead Act was enacted in 1922,” said Michael Boland, professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota with expertise in cooperatives. “Co-ops in other sectors, such as dairy cattle genetics and sugar beets, have used CMAs to their advantage. It allows cooperatives to coordinate value-added services with each other, while individual cooperative members retain ownership and independence.”

The CMA — known as the American Dairy Cooperative — will be led by a board of directors, comprised of AMPI and FDA members. Together, the CMA members annually produce 7 billion pounds of milk.