KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) announced the startup companies that were chosen to take part in the 2022 DFA CoLAB Accelerator program.

A 90-day collaborative program designed to stimulate dairy product and processing innovations for dairy farms, the DFA CoLAB Accelerator helps give startups an understanding of the dairy industry, in part by setting them up to work with top executives from DFA, as well as other relevant investors and dairy industry leaders.

Two of the companies chosen this year are from the dairy food products and dairy processing technology category: Lehi, Utah-based Smack'd and Denmark-based Lyras.

Smack'd is looking to develop “a delicious adult chocolate milk beverage that is high in protein, low in sugar and caffeinated.” Lyras developed a UV-light cold pasteurization technology, which uses 90% less energy and 60% less water compared to traditional pasteurization.

The DFA also announced four ag tech startups that will join the accelerator program: Cattle Scan (Canada), The Hago Energetics Company (Camarillo, Calif.), Lemna (Gilbert, Ariz.) and ReproHealth Technologies (Indianapolis).

Cattle Scan has a real-time monitoring technology that measures the biometrics of individual cattle. The Hago Energetics Company aims to help dairy and cattle farms convert waste into fuel cell grade hydrogen. Lemna offers a comprehensive nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater. ReproHealth developed a patent-pending device that brings in vitro fertilization technology to the farm.

“It’s always exciting to welcome a new class of startups into our CoLAB Accelerator program, as these companies bring fresh thinking and ideas to benefit our farm family-owners and help further grow and invigorate the dairy case,” said Doug Dresslaer, director of cultural innovation at DFA. “This year, we’re particularly excited to take a hybrid approach with the program by bringing back more collaborative, in-person sessions while also meeting virtually.”

The DFA CoLAB Accelerator program launched six years ago and has worked with 32 companies to date. Participating startups receive advice, as well as numerous chances to attend educational sessions on critical topics for growth, such as finance, business development, distribution and supply chain, product development, brand building, sales and marketing, packaging and pricing.

Per the DFA, 94% of the companies that went through the accelerator program remain in business today.