Is dairy farmers of america investment legit? Reviews


An Overview of Dairy Farmers of America

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the United States. Founded in 1998 through the merger of several regional dairy cooperatives, DFA now represents over 12,000 dairy farmer-owners across the country.

As a cooperative, DFA is owned and governed by the dairy farm families that produce milk. The cooperative seeks to support and advocate for dairy farmers by processing and marketing the milk its members produce. DFA owns plants across dozens of states that process milk into various dairy products like milk, butter, cheese, powder, and more. It also operates a large distribution network to get dairy to retailers, food manufacturers, and consumers.

In addition to processing and marketing milk, DFA provides various services to help dairy farmers be successful such as feed, crop inputs, insurance programs, and financing support. The cooperative structure allows individual farmers to benefit from economies of scale they could not access on their own. Overall profits are distributed back to member farms based on how much milk they contribute.

While most known for its dairy operations, DFA has invested in other food and agriculture businesses over the years as well. This includes protein production, almond and walnut processing, and natural cheese manufacturing. The cooperative also owns certain farm real estate that is leased to dairy producers.

Is DFA Investment a Good Opportunity for Non-Dairy Farmers?

As a large cooperative, DFA raises capital in various ways including member equity investments from both dairy farmer-owners and outside, non-farmer investors. This opens up the possibility for those without a dairy operation to invest in and benefit from DFA’s business. But is DFA investment a good opportunity? Let’s take a closer look.

Stability and Size

As one of the largest dairy cooperatives, DFA has significant scale and financial resources behind it. Processing over 30 billion pounds of milk annually gives it stability that smaller competitors may lack. The essential nature of dairy products also provides a relatively steady customer base even during economic downturns. Investing in a large, well-established cooperative reduces certain risks compared to smaller ventures.

Consistent Returns

DFA has paid cash distributions or dividends to investors for decades. While returns may fluctuate somewhat with market conditions, the cooperative structure is designed to provide reliable income streams for members over the long run. DFA has demonstrated the ability to generate profits through various economic cycles. Consistent, positive returns provide value for retirements or long-term investment goals.

Opportunity for Capital Appreciation

In addition to cash returns, equity investments in DFA can appreciate over time. As the cooperative acquires other businesses and expands its operations, the overall value of the company increases. This capital appreciation allows investments to potentially grow faster than inflation or standard interest returns alone. Past investors who held equity for decades have seen their initial stakes multiply in worth.

Liquidity and Accessibility

While investing in a cooperative is not the same as stock shares, DFA works to provide liquidity options to members. Individuals can usually sell back their equity within a reasonable timeframe if needed for cash. Outside investors can also gain exposure to DFA through partnerships instead of direct ownership if preferred. Overall the investment has comparable accessibility to traditional stock market investments.

Supporting Dairy Farmers

For those interested in supporting American agriculture, DFA investment directly benefits dairy farm families across the country. Proceeds from outside capital help fund cooperative programs that strengthen rural communities and the US dairy industry overall. Investors can feel good knowing their money is promoting a stable food source and way of life for dairy producers.

In summary, the stability, scale, and track record of DFA make it a relatively low-risk investment compared to startups or volatile market indexes. For those seeking consistent income or long-term growth, the DFA cooperative provides a solid opportunity.

Key Considerations Before Investing in DFA

While DFA investment presents advantages, it’s still important for potential investors to consider key points:

Lack of Control

Unlike owning stock, cooperative members do not control corporate decisions or have voting power in management. Returns depend entirely on DFA leadership’s ability to successfully run business operations. There is less influence over profitability compared to traditional equity.

Illiquidity Compared to Stocks

As noted, DFA works to provide liquidity options. But it may still take time to sell back equity compared to instantly trading stock. Funds are also tied up longer than usual investments. This means the holdings are less liquid than traditional stocks or mutual funds.

Market and Industry Risks Still Apply

No investment is risk-free – DFA still faces marketplace challenges like commodity price fluctuations, trade issues, consumer preferences trends, downturns, and more. Success depends on dairy demand holding steady. Returns could decline during major industry downturns.

Returns Vary Year-to-Year

Cash distributions from DFA vary based on annual profits. Investors should expect payouts to rise and fall somewhat rather than expect a fixed interest rate. Returns also depend on how long one stays invested to benefit from compounding gains over time.

Investment Minimums Apply

DFA has minimum investment thresholds, usually $1000-$5000 to start, which may price out smaller investors. Funds must be committed long-term to realize full benefits that scale with larger holdings.

Thorough vetting is advised to ensure DFA equity aligns with individual risk tolerance, time horizons, and liquidity needs. While a generally attractive opportunity, it remains an agricultural investment rather than insured savings vehicle.

Paths for Investing in DFA

Assuming DFA investment objectives suit personal circumstances after consideration, there are multiple avenues for participating:

Direct Membership

Farmers can become full voting members by directly owning a dairy operation. Non-farming individuals may also become associate non-voting members by investing minimum required equity levels.

Investment Partnerships

For those interested but unable to meet direct thresholds, DFA facilitates investment partnerships. Accredited investors pool resources to jointly meet minimums through a single legal investment vehicle.

Retirement Accounts

DFA equity can be held within self-directed IRAs or other tax-advantaged retirement plans. Distributions provide potential tax advantages compared to taxable brokerage accounts.

Secondary Market Sales

Some existing members resell part of their holdings on secondary markets, providing another access point for buyers. Due diligence required to ensure legitimacy of selling parties and transactions.

Researching each avenue is recommended to understand rights, obligations, costs and suitability for one’s finance goals. Reaching out to local DFA representatives provides the most detailed picture of currently open investment opportunities.


As a major cooperative supporting America’s dairy farmers for over a century, DFA presents a solid opportunity for consistent, long-term investment. The size and diversification of its operations provide relative stability compared to smaller ventures.

While returns depend on marketplace conditions outside investors’ control, DFA has demonstrated the ability to generate income through various economic cycles. Capital also has the potential for appreciation over decades as the cooperative expands.

For those able to commit funds for 5+ years, meeting investment minimums, and understanding cooperation structure intricacies, DFA can complement a balanced portfolio. But potential investors should also carefully weigh specific risks versus their risk tolerance and goals. Overall, DFA equity deserves consideration alongside traditional assets for qualified individuals focused on consistent income.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.