KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The board of directors of Dairy Farmers of America has finalized the appointment of new president and chief executive officer Dennis Rodenbaugh.

Richard P. Smith stepped down after 16 years of serving in the role for the DFA, and Mr. Rodenbaugh’s transition period reached its culmination as he took over effective July 1.

Mr. Rodenbaugh first joined DFA in 2007 and was executive vice president of council operations and president of ingredient solutions before taking on his new leadership responsibilities.

He said the board prepared DFA for a seamless transition, and that he’s excited about the cooperative’s future.

“We are fully positioned with a great team and the talent in place to drive DFA forward to maximize value for our farmer-owners,” Mr. Rodenbaugh said. “DFA’s core focus will always be on marketing its members’ milk. As I work with my leadership team on strategic imperatives, a focus on investment, innovation, valuing our members and advocating for their ability to achieve their goals are just a few tenets of my vision for future success. Our farmer-ownership, alongside our infrastructure, offers the opportunity and motivation for us to position dairy as the sustainable source of nutrition to feed a global population.”

In his recent leadership duties at DFA, Mr. Rodenbaugh oversaw US milk marketing and farm services, as well as 23 commercial manufacturing plans. He also was in charge of marketing for DFA’s global ingredient solutions division.

In addition to his work with DFA, he is chairman of Newtrient, on the National Milk Producers Federation board of directors and serves as a board member for the International Dairy Foods Association, for which he is an executive committee member.

“I look forward to working with our farmer-leaders, members and DFA employees across the cooperative to ensure we remain true to our purpose — delivering value to our family-farm owners and ensuring DFA is at the forefront of where our members need us and where consumers expect us — today and into the future,” Mr. Rodenbaugh said.