Hanman to retire as c.e.o. of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

by Eric Schroeder
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KANSAS CITY — Gary Hanman, chief executive officer of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (D.F.A.), said he will retire as head of the farmer-owned dairy cooperative effective Dec. 31.

A native of north central Missouri, Mr. Hanman, 71, has been c.e.o. of D.F.A. since its creation in 1998. From 1975-1997, he was c.e.o. of one of D.F.A.’s predecessor cooperatives, Mid-America Dairymen, Inc. (Mid-Am) of Springfield, Mo. Before that, he was the first hired c.e.o. of the Square Deal Milk Producers Association of Highland, Ill., a cooperative which became part of Mid-Am on July 1, 1968.

"D.F.A. was created by dairy farmers, who wanted to take control over their destiny in a rapidly changing business environment, and Gary Hanman helped us make that a reality," said Tom Camerlo, a dairy farmer from Florence, Colo., and chairman of D.F.A.’s board of directors. "We’re grateful to Gary for his leadership. With him, we built a marketing cooperative that can compete on a global level, while providing a grassroots structure that ensures dairy farmer input and control."

Mr. Camerlo said that Mr. Hanman has agreed to continue in a consulting role at D.F.A. to assist in the management transition and in defining future cooperative marketing opportunities.

"Together, we have achieved the initial objectives we set for D.F.A.," Mr. Hanman said. "I’m proud of how far we’ve come. I will continue to be available to D.F.A. and look forward to my new role in helping our leadership with transition and working for improved cooperative marketing opportunities for our dairy farmers."

Mr. Camerlo said the D.F.A. dairy farmer board of directors has a succession plan in place and intends to announce a new c.e.o. before year-end.

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