Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator?
This three-month program (“Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program”) will provide support and mentor dairy food entrepreneurs that want to grow and drive innovation in the dairy products space. Participants will have access to personnel and seminars focusing on finance, brand building, manufacturing, sales, distribution and leadership development. In addition, the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program will include access to supply chain, marketing, business development and leadership development experts on an as needed basis. At the conclusion of the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program, participants will have the opportunity to present their proposals and new business ideas to Land O’Lakes, Inc. leadership.

Why is Land O’Lakes doing this?
Land O’Lakes, Inc. was founded on innovation by the original entrepreneurs – cooperative member farmers. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is committed to fostering innovation in the dairy industry and desires to engage innovative dairy food companies, spread entrepreneurial thinking, share expertise, and support the growth of the dairy industry.

What are the criteria for consideration in the program?
The Dairy Accelerator is looking for United States-based entrepreneurs passionate about moving their companies to the next level. The company must utilize dairy as the primary ingredient but can use any aspect of dairy, including but not limited to: yogurt, cheese, whey or other milk-based proteins or ingredients. However, new innovations cannot focus on butter. Eligible companies should have sales revenues of approximately $200,000 or more over the last 12 months.

Where will the Dairy Accelerator be located?
Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program, its seminars, community activities and available office space will be located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

Do I have to relocate for the program?
Certainly not! However, travel to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area during the program will be required. Each session held in Minneapolis will be two days in length, and we are holding a total of 4 sessions throughout the 3 month program.

Will any financial assistance be offered to participating companies to cover travel and lodging costs?
To help participants in this commitment, participants will receive a $25,000 stipend that will cover the cost of travel to required program sessions.

As a participant, will I have to give up equity in return for the stipend Land O’Lakes is providing?
The Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program’s focus is on growing the total dairy industry and does not require equity from the participants.

Will Land O’Lakes invest in my company?
There are no plans at this time for Land O’Lakes to invest in participating companies as part of the program. The intent of the Dairy Accelerator is to simply grow the dairy industry by helping participating companies get to the next level.

Will I have to sign a contract with Land O’Lakes to participate in the program?
Applicants selected must agree to all terms and conditions outlined in the Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator program’s written agreement before participating.

What kind of non-financial support will be provided for accepted participants?
The Dairy Accelerator program provides an intensive training program in the fall of 2017 that addresses the key challenges participant companies face in taking their companies to the next level. Participants will also be matched with mentors who have industry experience in finance, brand building, manufacturing, sales, distribution and leadership development.

I’m an employee of Land O’Lakes with a great idea and side business, can I apply?
Unfortunately Land O’Lakes employees may not apply. 
How long is this program?
The program lasts for approximately three months beginning in mid-September and culminates with presentations to Land O’Lakes leadership and employees in mid-December of 2017. Participants selected must commit to attending and contributing to the full program (see application for additional requirements).

Can I speak to someone directly about the program and/or application process?
If you have additional questions or are having troubles downloading or accessing the application, please contact us at

Will all companies be notified if they are selected to participate?
Applicants will receive a message confirming the receipt of their application. All applicants, including finalists, will be notified of their application status by August 15, 2017. The selection committee may be in touch prior to that date to request additional information. Requests for additional information should not be construed as acceptance into the program.

How will you select the participants?
Companies will be evaluated against criteria including their leadership team, Land O’Lakes’ ability to add value, and the company’s vision for leveraging dairy products today and in the future. Land O’Lakes is looking for dairy companies with passionate leadership, that are poised for growth, and have a product or products utilizing dairy as its primary component.

I’ve read all of the above but still have a question – what do I do?
Questions not covered in the FAQ can be sent to We will respond as quickly as possible.