The Dairy Farmers of America’s board of directors have appointed Dennis Rodenbaugh to be the cooperative’s president and CEO, effective at the end of 2022.

Rodenbaugh will succeed Richard P. “Rick” Smith, who plans to retire after leading the organization for the past 16 years.

Rodenbaugh, who has a background in dairy farm management and ownership as well as banking and finance, currently is executive vice president and president of council operations and ingredients solutions for DFA.

He has led numerous business units since joining the organization in 2007, including DFA’s milk marketing, member services and global ingredient divisions.

He has led initiatives to drive member services, customer relationships, operational efficiencies, business development and marketing strategies designed to deliver value to DFA member-owners and meet the needs of customers and consumers.

As part of DFA’s senior management team, he has helped lead strategic planning, crisis preparedness, business continuity and other enterprise-wide initiatives.

“Rick is an iconic and dynamic leader who has been instrumental in transforming DFA’s culture and business, and we will be forever grateful to him for his tremendous leadership and are proud of where we are today,” Randy Mooney, DFA board chairman, said in a press release.

“In Dennis, we have a strategic leader who has a deep understanding of our family farm-owners, a strong vision for the future of DFA and a proven ability to lead,” he said.

Smith said Rodenbaugh embodies the values of DFA.

“He is an integrity-based leader with a passion for bringing value to our farmer-owners. We are confident he will help navigate the organization into its next chapter successfully,” he said.

“I appreciate the opportunity to take on this leadership role for such an amazing organization where I have the continued privilege to work with our farmer-leaders, our members and with DFA’s very talented team of management and employees, as well as our customers across the country and globally,” Rodenbaugh said.

“I’ve had the great fortune of being part of Rick’s senior management team these past 14 years, and I’m pleased that he’s agreed to contribute in an advisory role into the future,” he said.

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