The dairy farmer owners of Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) have acquired all of the ownership interests in Keller's Creamery LP (Keller's), the nation's second-largest manufacturer of butter for retail, food service and industrial uses. Keller's was formed in May of 2000 as a joint venture between DFA and Frank Otis and Glenn Millar, the former management team of Sodiaal North America Corporation.

With this transaction, DFA becomes the majority owners of the partnership in the successful butter business and will oversee the management of Keller's warehouse and office operations in Harleysville, Penn., and the butter processing plant in Winnsboro, Texas.

"For the past four years, our dairy farm families have helped to supply milk and cream that goes into Keller's butter churns. So, naturally, our farmers have been proud of their association with the butter brands under the Keller's umbrella," says Gary Hanman, DFA's president and chief executive officer. "This transaction doesn't really change the operations, except it creates an even stronger relationship between our farmers and the butter brands, plus provide opportunities for future efficiencies and market synergies among our processing units."

Mark Korsmeyer, president of DFA's American Dairy Brands (ADB) division and executive vice president of the cooperative's Dairy Food Products Group, will assume managerial responsibilities for Keller's marketing, sales and manufacturing functions. Frank Otis, former Keller's manager, will continue to support day-to-day business operations.

Source: Company Release