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The best ideas are born out of collaboration

Luckily for us, that’s what our entire Cooperative is based on. We’re all part of a living and breathing lab — a community that will create ideas for our collective future and the future of dairy.

DFA’s program to grow ag-tech and dairy foods startups.

DFA’s CoLAB Accelerator is an immersive program that accelerates and grows ag-tech startup businesses through mentoring and educational programming. DFA has partnered with various startups across the dairy value chain that provide valuable services to our family farm-owners, nutritious dairy-based products to consumers or helpful insights to our business. We’ve built long-lasting relationships with several Accelerator startups through additional investment and support.

Join the program

We are always looking for submissions from companies with ag-tech applications related to any portion of the dairy value chain, including but not limited to product testing, data management, herd health and management, supply chain optimization, sustainability and traceability.

We want to hear from you!

CoLAB Connect is an idea submission space. The old saying that there are no bad ideas is entirely true. Whether you have a new way of doing things, a suggestion for how to improve a program or process, or you’ve imagined something entirely new, this is the space for you to share those ideas. When we connect our ideas, they’ll come to life and move the Cooperative forward.

When we collaborate,
big things can happen.

CoLAB Conversations are brainstorming sessions to tackle problems and discover real-world solutions for improvement. If your team needs a boost to develop ideas or inspire creative thinking, request a CoLAB Conversations session. With sessions tailored to your needs, we’re making it easier than ever for your team to creatively collaborate.

CoLAB Conversations in action

Our Farm Services team participated in one of these sessions and it sparked an idea that developed into the Feed First Program, a collaboration between multiple business units within Farm Services to help our family farm-owners effectively manage their feed program — from commodities and seed loans to silage insurance and risk management tools.

Current CoLAB Accelerator participants


An artificial intelligence-powered agriculture lending platform that leverages novel data sources to increase credit access and enhance debt capacity for farmers. Bankbarn’s digital lending platform also automates the loan lifecycle and enables smart loan monitoring.

Metha AI

Uses artificial intelligence to improve cows’ digestion, helping farmers produce more milk with higher efficiency and significantly, measurably lower methane emissions. calculates the optimal feed additive for each herd based on microbiome samples taken from the cows.


Helping the dairy industry to reduce haulage costs and vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in milk transportation. OptaHaul’s route optimization platform automatically calculates the most cost-efficient route plan for dairy planners and schedulers.


A synthetic biology, biomaterials and circular economy company. Ourobio develops fermentation processes to turn industrial byproducts into low-carbon footprint, performance-enhancing biodegradable plastic additives.

Windfall Bio

Uses naturally-occurring soil microorganisms to dilute methane emissions and simultaneously pull nitrogen from the atmosphere. Windfall Bio’s technology allows farmers to harvest methane and turn it into products that benefit their bottom lines.

Past CoLAB Accelerator participants

2022 participants

Cattle Scan logo

Real-time monitoring technology that measures the biometrics of individual cattle, starting with temperature. Data can be accessed on a cloud-based platform and allows farmers to improve the overall health of their herds.

Hago Energetics logo

Aims to help dairy and cattle farms convert waste, like manure, into fuel-cell-grade hydrogen using a patented carbon negative approach. This hydrogen is expected to sell at a lower cost and have a lower carbon footprint than current methods.

Lemna Logo

Provides a comprehensive nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater through the use of duckweed (aquatic plants) in a controlled growth system. The duckweed also has the potential to provide farmers with a new revenue stream.

Lyras Logo

Developed a UV-light cold pasteurization technology that uses 90% less energy and 60% less water compared to traditional pasteurization.

Repro Health Technologies logo

An innovative, patent-pending device that brings in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology to the farm. Founders believe the device could potentially double cattle embryo production and reduce reproduction costs.

Smack'd Logo

Aims to develop a delicious adult chocolate milk beverage that is high in protein, low in sugar and caffeinated.

2021 participants

Armenta Company Logo

CattleEye is a hands-free way to monitor cows’ welfare and performance through a cloud-based artificial intelligence platform using standard web cameras.

Capro-x company logo

Saga Ventures offers a single-serve cheese snacking bar, called Cheeseboard Snacking Bar™, to provide healthy and satiable fuel between meals.

Chank's company logo

Built to integrate with herd management software and sensors, the DairyOffice platform serves as a central location for all data sets collected on a farm.

Armenta Company Logo

H2Ok Innovations is a contaminant management platform that helps heavy water-using businesses optimize water usage and treatment through predictive diagnostics.

Capro-x company logo

The Modern Milkman is an online, subscription-based platform that offers fresh, local quality products delivered right to consumers’ doorsteps.

Chank's company logo

SimpliFed provides virtual breastfeeding and baby feeding support fully covered by health plans from pregnancy to weaning.

Armenta Company Logo

VERI Nano offers a patent-pending nanotechnology utilized as a bovine teat sealant, disinfectant, antimicrobial coating, skin care and wound care treatment.

2020 participants

Armenta Company Logo

Pioneering acoustic technology for the antibiotic-free treatment of bovine mastitis, proven to increase yield, improve quality and reduce culling.

Capro-x company logo

An ag tech spin-off from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., providing a sustainable solution for whey waste from Greek yogurt production.

Chank's company logo

A handheld snack company featuring pizza cones, Philly cheesesteak cones and more.

Good Sport company logo

A sports drink with naturally powerful hydration from the goodness of milk.

Livestock Water Recycling company logo

Manure treatment technology that reduces the overall volume of manure, concentrates nutrients and delivers a renewable, high-quality water source.

MI TERRO company logo

Upcycles excess food into sustainable fibers and packaging.

Superfrau company logo

Electrolyte drinks made from upcycling surplus whey. It’s ‘yogurt’s outdoorsy sister’: fresh liquid whey, rescued, upcycled and infused with unique flavors to keep you feeling hydrated and ready to take on your next adventure.

Wheyward spirt company logo

A mission-driven alcohol company that takes excess whey from the dairy industry and turns it into a smoother, better tasting and more sustainable farm-to-flask spirit.

Chank's company logo

Nordic chilled dairy snacks made with fresh quark, a mixture of cow’s milk and natural lactic acid.

2019 participants

Bezoar’s current innovation is a patent-pending probiotic for cattle that, when paired with nitrate, decreases their methane production by 50%, while providing additional benefits.

Brooklyn Buttery is reimagining butter for the 21st century as a fun, convenient product for home cooks to turn up the flavor on their dishes using sustainably sourced ingredients.

Healthy Cow is an ag-biotechnology helping dairy farmers to produce more wholesome, natural and nutritious milk while simultaneously reducing their dependence on antibiotics and hormones.

Labby Logo

Labby is an instant optical milk analyzer on the farm level.

Numa makes all-natural sweet, chewy milk treats with just six natural ingredients and four grams of protein.

RifRaf offers cool, creamy ricotta cups that are one part cheese and one part unexpectedly delicious flavor.

2018 participants

Cheddies aims to provide all consumers with a cheese cracker that has added nutritional benefits. These benefits include 10 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates, no artificial flavors or colors and zero grams of sugar.

MoPro is the first Greek yogurt infused with CFM Whey Protein Isolate that contains 24 grams of protein per serving and is low in sugar.

Pharm Robotics is developing robotic systems to automate administration of animal health products in dairy cows.

SomaDetect is a precision-dairy company that is creating an in-line system for measuring every compound of interest in raw milk, including fat, protein, somatic cells, progesterone and trace antibiotics.

Too Cool Chix creates delicious, all-natural ice cream sandwiches free of artificial ingredients and stabilizing gums. is transforming the food supply chain using blockchain technology to enable data transparency, so we know where our food is from and what has happened to it.

2017 participants

AgVoice is a mobile voice interaction service designed to enable food and agriculture professionals to capture insights on the go. With AgVoice, agrifood companies can drastically increase the traceability of their food supply chain through the hands-free, complete and accurate collection of data.

HerdDogg delivers simple, straightfoward digitized answers to critical animal health needs. Thanks to HerdDogg’s smart ear tags and data, early detection of estrus and illness is possible like never before, saving ranchers time and money, and helping keep animals healthy.

My Dairy Dashboard connects data to simplify dairy decisions through a visual dashboard of aggregated herd, feed, milk and weather data. My Dairy Dashboard’s cloud-based dashboard solution enables dairy producers and their advisors to view trends and compare their data to benchmarks across other herds.

TradeLanes digitizes and automates the supply chain for shippers, merchants and traders. TradeLanes’ digital document room ensures these handoffs and trades are seamlessly executed with zero errors — thus lowering costs and removing days from the supply chain.

Message us below to learn more.