Sept. 18 2017 10:54 AM

New in 2018: CoBank Will Join DFA as a Supporting Partner for the Agricultural Segments of the Program

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative, and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced that applications are open for the 2018 Accelerator program that helps accelerate and grow startup businesses.

For the 2018 program, DFA will be joined by CoBank, a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America, as a supporting partner. DFA, along with CoBank, will further expand their involvement by recruiting ag tech companies as well as early stage food product companies that are dairy-focused or dairy-based. It is not a requirement that the product is exclusively dairy, but dairy must be a primary ingredient.

“Innovation is a core value for DFA, and we are thrilled to continue our support for the 2018 Accelerator program, which will help spur new ideas and innovation for the dairy industry from farm to table,” says Kevin Strathman, senior vice president of finance at Dairy Farmers of America. “It’s truly exciting to be on the forefront of new technologies and developments that will help drive our industry forward. Adding CoBank and their wealth of industry insight into the mix will certainly provide additional value for the entrepreneurs.”

As a sponsor for the Accelerator, DFA will provide mentorship, connections and resources to help accelerate the growth of the ag tech and food company start ups selected. Features of the 90-day program include:

  • Targeted, strategic meetings with the corporate partner teams to discuss business development, pilots and potential sponsorships;
  • Mentoring from DFA senior members and their networks, as well as from the investor, business development and entrepreneurial communities;
  • Business building sessions around product, brand, marketing and entrepreneurship;
  • State-of-the-art workspace facilities provided at Sprint Accelerator in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.

“We are excited to have DFA back to support our 2018 program as well as CoBank as a supporting partner,” said Doug Dresslaer, managing director of the Sprint Accelerator. “As we saw from our 2017 program, having strong corporate sponsors to engage with start ups is key to a successful program.”

Additional details and applications are available at The 90-day program will begin on March 5, 2018.

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 13,000 members on nearly 8,000 farms in 48 states. DFA also is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit

About Sprint and its Support for Entrepreneurship

Sprint has a strong history of working with startups in Silicon Valley, Kansas City and around the globe, helping young companies navigate the corporate world and build momentum behind their new businesses. Sprint is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial movement across the country, delivering new business opportunities, and spurring the startup spirit within the company. In 2014, Sprint opened the award-winning Sprint Accelerator in Kansas City – home of the Corporate Accelerator. The accelerator space is used to deliver year-round programming, including mentor engagement, STEM programs, entrepreneurial community collaboration, and community coworking space.

About Sprint:

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 59.5 million connections as of Dec. 31, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and