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Source: Cisco news release

San Francisco, CA - Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is receiving a critical enhancement to its information technology capabilities thanks to global technology and networking company, Cisco, which has pledged to help optimize manufacturing operations and maintain workforce continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Food producers and manufacturers, such as DFA, are classified as critical infrastructure in the United States for the vital role they play in feeding the nation. With more than 85 manufacturing facilities producing milk and dairy products throughout the United States, it is critical that DFA continues to process milk and operate plants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As some employees who would typically travel to manufacturing facilities instead work from home, DFA is implementing virtual technology to stay connected and ensure projects progress on schedule.

Donated collaboration technology - such as Cisco Webex room kits, DX-80s, Webex Teams and Webex Expert-on-Demand Software, and RealWear HMT-1 hands-free head-mounted devices - will allow DFA to connect its teams across the country in multiple manufacturing facilities with the highest level of security. This access to experts will help it shift production, optimize resources and increase resolution time as it adapts to changing demand.

"Cisco has been a trusted technology partner for DFA, and we are excited to expand our capabilities through this donation," says Jeff Hurley, chief information officer for DFA. "As an essential infrastructure, it's critical to ensure our plants, which produce milk and dairy products to feed families around the world, continue to operate. Integrating Cisco collaboration technology allows our experts to safely connect across the country while staying safe."

The collaboration equipment and services are a donation from Cisco's Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) Program. They will provide manufacturing workers with secure, remote access to experts and first-line support teams who are working from home or at other plants. Specifically, they will now have real-time visibility into operations through hands-free video devices, which will enable DFA's workforce to remain productive and autonomous, while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.

"We believe that when citizens are faced with extraordinary challenges, it is our responsibility as business leaders to step up and offer support," said Ned Cabot, Director of Country Digitization, Americas at Cisco. "We are proud to lend our expertise and collaboration tools to DFA and are grateful for their trust in Cisco to help them in their critical mission of feeding families across the world."

The first phase of this donation is being deployed to four sites across DFA's operations, including its largest processing facility in Portales, N.M., which can process the most milk (roughly 69 million gallons) each day of any DFA plant. Cisco collaboration equipment will be deployed to:

Portales, N.M.
Ventura, Calif.
Zumbrota, Minn.
Schulenburg, Texas

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