With a more than four-decades-old career, devoted solely to dairy farmers and their cooperatives, Gary Hanman has forged an agricultural legacy of achievement and leadership. His work has truly blazed a trail for dairy farmers and their cooperatives. Throughout his career, he has worked diligently to unify dairy farmers in an effort to maximize their returns from the marketplace and to provide unparalleled service.
A highlight of his visionary leadership was the creation of Dairy Farmer's of America (DFA), which he helped establish by assembling four diverse cooperatives into a single entity and growing it into the nation's largest dairy cooperative. Hanman served as DFA's President and CEO from it's inception until his retirement in 2005.
Hanman's innovative thinking and respected leadership led to many meaningful farm policies and dairy programs. For example, he helped incubate Cooperatives Working Together, a national voluntary supply-management program funded and directed by dairy farmers. At the International Level, he helped forge a joint venture with DFA and a New Zealand based dairy cooperative. These and other such programs have not only helped sustain dairy farmers, but have provided consumers with a top quality supply of milk and dairy products.