Dairy Farmers of America unveils new headquarters building
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Dairy Farmers of America, a national farmer-owned dairy cooperative, recently celebrated the opening of its new headquarters building in Kansas City, Kan., with an open house for the cooperative’s board members, local officials and other represntatives involved with the design and development. The three-story, 110,000-square-foot building, which was designed by HOK, is located at 1405 N. 98th St. and honors the cooperative’s dairy farmer members.
“This building is a testament to our family farmers and the sustainable practices they employ on their dairies each and every day,” said Rick Smith, president and CEO, Dairy Farmers of America. “We intentionally designed it to use more natural materials like reclaimed woods, concretes and metals – so there’s a welcoming feel, while still being very modern and fully equipped for how the world works today. It’s not a typical corporate office space, but it absolutely functions like one.”
Throughout the building, there are a number of other unique design touches and furnishings that pay homage to life on the farm and the production of milk, including the use of upholsteries like plaid and cow hide for various seating areas. Artistic feature walls showcase aspects of DFA’s business from a barn board and milk bottle caps to steel pipes representing the cooperative’s numerous milk processing plants. Finally, as visitors enter the building’s lobby, they are greeted by a 25-foot Milk Pour sculpture to represent and remind employees and visitors about what’s at the core of DFA – producing nutritious and delicious milk and dairy products.
Focus on Sustainability
Qualifying as Silver LEED-certified, the building includes a number of sustainable design practices, including panels of glass framing the building’s exterior, which not only brings in an abundance of natural light into the office environment, but also helps reduce energy use. Another sustainable building feature is the use of under floor air throughout the space. This allows A/C vents to deliver cool air from the floor up, which is far more efficient than blowing cool air down.
Other sustainable elements in the building include:
· 100 percent LED lighting, with automatic energy-saving mode
· Composting trash and recycling throughout the building
· Two electric car charging stations
· Several reserved fuel efficiency parking spots
DFA’s new headquarters building also was designed with employees in mind, including first-class amenities and
an open, modern and flexible work environment to help encourage teamwork and collaboration.
Meeting spaces and work stations can be easily changed to support growth. Most can be reconfigured so that walls and offices can literally be put up or torn down to accommodate a team’s needs. Individual work stations include adjustable desks that allow employees to sit or stand as well as ergonomic chairs and dual monitors. The building also features a variety of unique meeting spaces and nooks – providing employees a variety of places to get together and meet throughout the office, without utilizing a formal conference room.
“We think this new headquarters will play a key role in helping us attract and also retain high-quality talent, which will help ensure DFA’s continued growth and success,” said Monica Massey, senior vice president and chief of staff from DFA. “Our goal is to be an employer of choice in Kansas City and this building and all its amenities reflects that commitment to focus on employee satisfaction.”
One of the amenities offered at DFA’s new headquarters is a full-service café managed by Elite Cuisine, which serves healthy options for both breakfast and lunch. The café provides indoor and outdoor seating for employees and includes refrigerated grab-and-go items, a fully stocked salad bar as well as a variety of freshly-prepared hot food stations serving daily specials such as pecan-crusted tilapia, turkey pesto panini and Korean shrimp rice bowls.
Additional building amenities include:
· State-of-the-art fitness center featuring free weights, cardio equipment, group classes and an on-site trainer, along with full-service locker rooms
· Outdoor courtyard as well as four outdoor meeting spaces and terraces
· Multipurpose room that can accommodate all of DFA’s employees
· Regulation bocce ball, basketball court and walking trail surrounding the building
· Visitor business center
· And, of course, a 24/7 milk bar serving three varieties of ice cold milk
During an open house reception that included tours of the new headquarters building, Rick Smith talked about the move and how the building exudes agriculture and dairy farming. DFA Chairman Randy Mooney discussed how the new building reflects farmers and will also help DFA attract and retain the best employees. Additional speakers at the reception were Monica Massey, senior vice president and chief of staff at Dairy Farmers of America; Commissioner Harold Johnson from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chad Bontrager from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
Other companies involved in DFA’s new headquarters project include Van Trust Real Estate LLC, Area Real Estate Advisors, JE Dunn Construction and Dimensional Innovations.