April 24, 2024

Darigold Board of Directors Names Allan Huttema CEO

Man poses for a professional photograph

Appointment Creates Continuity of Leadership as Farmer-Owned Co-op Completes Plant Construction, Looks to Expand Production

SEATTLE & BOISE, Idaho, April 24, 2024 – Darigold, Inc., one of the nation’s largest dairy producers, announced that Allan Huttema has been named Chief Executive Officer. Huttema was named Interim CEO in December 2023 to replace outgoing CEO, Joe Coote, who left the dairy company with plans to return to his native Australia.

Prior to his appointment as Interim CEO, Huttema had served as a Darigold Director for nine years, and Chairman of its Board for the last three years. He has been a dairy farmer in Idaho and a Northwest Dairy Association (NDA) member-owner for more than 25 years. With the Board vote completed, Huttema will remain in the CEO role.

“We are at an important time in Darigold’s evolution as we near completion of a new processing facility in Central Washington, the largest investment in our co-op’s 105-year history, and continue to recover from economic challenges over the last couple of years,” said Tony Freeman, Chairman of Darigold’s Board of Directors and a Washington dairy farmer. “At this time, the Board believes that Darigold will benefit from continuity of leadership, and that a strong connection between the company and its farmer-owners is important as we look to complete our Pasco project and build the on-farm capacity we will need as we begin operations there. We believe that Allan’s background uniquely qualifies him for the CEO role at this time.”

“When the Board asked me late last year if I would serve as Interim CEO, I said I would do it. As a dairy farmer myself, I know how important it is to have successful and vibrant Darigold to serve as the marketing and processing arm of our co-op,” said Huttema. “To our community of dairy farmers in the region, Darigold isn’t just a company, it’s the lifeblood of our industry, and it’s important to me to help preserve this way of life to which our farmer-owners, me included, have dedicated our lives.”

Having accepted the role of CEO, Huttema resigned from the Darigold Board of Directors, and the Board elected Freeman (previously Vice Chair) to replace him as Chair. The Board elected Washington dairy Farmer Mike Schoneveld Vice Chair.

“These changes will help ensure continuity of leadership for Darigold and NDA at a critical time,” said Freeman. “We can now keep our organization focused on completing construction of our Pasco facility and building up the farm capacity we’ll need to begin operating there – a milestone that should provide new avenues to grow our co-op and help solidify the Northwest as a critical region for dairy production more broadly.”

About Darigold

Headquartered in Seattle, Darigold, Inc. is the marketing and processing subsidiary of the Northwest Dairy Association (NDA), which is owned by nearly 300 family-owned farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Darigold handles approximately 10 billion pounds of milk annually. The company produces a full line of dairy products for retail, foodservice, commodity, and specialty markets, and is one of the largest U.S. dairy processors. Darigold operates 11 plants throughout the Northwest, processing high-quality milk produced by NDA farm families, a second office in Boise, Idaho, as well as global satellite offices. It is currently building a 12th plant in central Washington that is slated to open in 2025. For more information, visit Darigold.com..


Chris Arnold