The story of Dairy Farmers of America’s (DFA) headquarters is the story of the people behind dairy farms. More specifically, it’s the story of how those family farms produce products that are served on family tables in the U.S. and overseas.
As the nation’s largest dairy cooperative, DFA wanted its new building to honor its 15,000 U.S. dairy farm owners. It also needed to provide a branded, high-performance workplace that would enable its 400-plus employees to support co-op members in every way possible. DFA’s culture and agrarian roots guided every aspect of the design.
This building is a testament to our family farmers and the sustainable practices they employ on their dairies each and every day. It’s not a typical corporate office space, but it absolutely functions like one. — Rick Smith , President and CEO, Dairy Farmers of America
This space needed to integrate farmers and DFA staff to become a workplace of choice and drive business growth. The company encouraged employees to help shape the amenity-rich environment and more than 75 percent answered the call by participating in meetings or charrettes with the design team. After its first year occupying the space, DFA’s number of employees had grown by nearly 20 percent.
DFA wanted to free its people to collaborate and innovate. The design moved the organization from a workplace with 176 closed offices to an open floor plan with just 10 private offices. To promote constant collaboration, the building has 100-plus meeting spaces—nearly one for every four occupants. Even the CEO’s open workspace converts into a collaboration space for staff.
A blend of indoor and outdoor space demonstrates DFA’s relationship with nature. One of the cafe’s exterior walls opens to a large exterior terrace. Outdoor conference rooms give people a new kind of meeting space. Second- and third-floor terraces act as a modern interpretation of the family farm’s front porch.
Home Away From Home
Special staff amenities include a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, a visitor business center, a convertible multipurpose room large enough for all employees to gather, fitness facilities that include basketball and bocce ball courts, a walking trail and a fire pit.
Positioned for Growth
DFA selected this accessible suburban site for its proximity to amenities and opportunities for future growth. The site’s configuration makes it easy for DFA to add a wing or construct a new standalone building.