Darigold Careers | Glassdoor

Darigold Overview

Seattle, WA
1001 to 5000 employees
1918
Company - Private
Manufacturing
$1 to $5 million (USD) per year
Churning out dairy foods since 1918, Darigold is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the Northwest Dairy Association (NDA). With 12 processing plants and nearly 500 member/farmers, Darigold makes and distributes fluid milk, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, and other ... Read more

Mission: Our primary goal for the near century we’ve been in business has been to provide high quality, nutritious and affordable food that enhances customers’ lives every day, while building prosperity for our farmer-owners.

Company Updates

  • We had the pleasure today of hearing from Secretary Vilsack, who visited Darigold in his role as president and CEO of USDEC. Tom Vilsack served as the 30th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture prior to joining USDEC.

  • We are excited to announce we have finalized our purchase of 26 acres in Sunnyside, WA. "This purchase gives us room to grow, when that is necessary to better support our member-owners" said Scott Burleson, SVP of Operations. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQiWN

    Darigold completes purchase of 26 acres near Sunnyside facility

    SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - Darigold has purchased 26 acres of land east of the company's plant in Sunnyside. The purchase from the Port of Sunnyside includes a 23-acre parcel next to the plant at Alexander and South McLean roads, which is partially in the city of Sunnyside and partially in unincorporated Yakima County.

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Darigold Video

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Darigold – Why Work For Us?


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undefinedHarold Lewin, IT Help Desk Manager

I joined Darigold’s IT department after working for a number a technology start-ups in the Seattle area. I liked the fast pace and dynamic nature of the startup culture, but I was also looking for something with more stability. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I knew Darigold was a respected brand and had been in this community for a long time. What I didn’t know was how dedicated and hardworking the people at Darigold are. The people here are invested for the long-term and all want to make this a great place to work.

I liked the idea of working for an established company with stability, where people share a passion for their work. Building strong relationships is an important part of doing a good job at  Darigold. There’s a great sense of teamwork and people are always sharing their ideas and knowledge, but at the same time the organization allows for a lot of independence to get our work done.I enjoy my autonomy, and the opportunity I have to help the company embrace positive change.



undefinedJason Strong, Telecommunications Specialist

One thing about Darigold is that we have a lot of technology that is specific to our plants, and to the dairy industry. We use technology as a central part of the production process, which helps us deliver the highest quality milk from the farm, to our plants, and to our customers’ tables around the world. Managing our technology effectively requires a lot of on the job training, and I’m fortunate to work with some great people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience. 

Having a fun place to work, where people are open to new ideas, is important to me too. My colleagues range from those their 20s to those in their 60s, so it’s a really diverse environment and there’s something to learn from everyone.

I take a lot of pride in what I do. I work hard and have a “never give up” attitude. I like to think that I’ve been good to Darigold, but equally important, Darigold has been really good to me and my family. From company-sponsored family outings to free passes to local attractions, not to mention its many employee benefits including a great tuition reimbursement program and a very generous 401K plan, I’ve been able to grow my career, save for the future, and build a good life for my family.


Medford, Oregon Employee 

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is that I get to work with such a wide cross section of people. Some people have been at the plant or, worked in the dairy industry for 20 to 30 years. Others have joined Darigold right out of high school. Despite differences in age and experience, everyone works together really well, and we find new ways to learn from each other and share our knowledge. We’re a pretty small facility so we need to work together to get things done. My management philosophy is to treat people the way I would want to be treated. There’s a great group of people here, and they make it fun to come into work each day.

People here are willing to work outside of traditional boundaries and go the extra mile to get the job done.


Thomas Chartrand, Regional Controller

It’s cool to go into the store and see Darigold products on the shelf. I know what went into making them. There’s an inherent pride that goes along with feeding people.

The culture here at Darigold fosters a dedicated work environment. There’s a huge knowledge base, and many people have worked here a long time.

There’s a tremendous amount of respect for the work it takes to produce quality dairy products – from the farmers out in the field, to the plant workers, to everyone at corporate. There is a lot of opportunity at Darigold for people who want to work hard, dig into new things, and grow their careers.

I’ve worked with a lot of really good people who have mentored me and helped support my career.

One of the things I like the most about working for Darigold is that it’s big enough that there’s been opportunity for me to shift roles and climb up the ladder, so to speak, but it’s also small enough that I can see the CEO walking down the hall and say hi to him and he knows who I am. There’s a sense of familiarity here that you might not get at some larger places.


Quality Manager in Idaho

I’ve worked really hard to do a good job at the company, and I feel very thankful to be recognized for what I am doing. I enjoy the confidence people have in me, and I think I’ve achieved their trust not only through the work I’ve done around product safety, but also in helping to build a collaborative and communicative environment.

The dairy industry is an exciting place to be, and Darigold is an especially good company to work for. If you’re willing to put in the effort, there is a lot of room to work on your own projects or pursue different areas of interest. The company does a good job recognizing people, and there is a lot of opportunity for advancement. Darigold provides a flexible work environment, and the pay and benefits – such as our healthcare and 401K programs – are excellent, especially compared to some of the other companies in this area. But at the end of the day, it’s really the people I work with who make Darigold such a great place for me.

undefinedOUR PEOPLE

Darigold does dairy differently. Maybe it's because the farmers own the company. Or because we spell our name with an i. Or because we tend to ask questions. Reasonable ones, like "why does dairy have to be dull?" And less reasonable ones, like "why not put cottage cheese on Belgian waffles?" or "why not sculpt a butter bust of Beethoven?" We believe dairy is what you make of it. Which is why we dare to make the best of the world's best dairy. The kind inside every meal worth living for. Every cereal bowl worth sipping. Every beater worth licking and every dish, plate and spoonful of mouth-defying amazingness worth savoring and sharing. For almost a century, the dedication of our cows, farmers and people are what have driven Darigold's success. And while it's true that we're one of America's largest dairy co-ops, Darigold has been farmer-owned since 1918. Today we proudly represent over 500 family farms across the Northwest. We're the producers of milk, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese and other dairy products for institutions, the food industry and family dinner tables around the world. We do dairy differently and we're proud of it. It's farm meets delicious. It's Farmalicious.

 

HIGH QUALITY

If this were a job interview and you asked Darigold "what are some of your best qualities?" we'd probably say it's butter that's better for baking. Or our thick, velvety sour cream that passes the upside-down spoon test. And let's not forget about our delectable, hand-cut cottage cheese. Sorry if we're bragging a bit. But then again, this is an interview. And Darigold really, really wants to be your family's dairy. If we already are, then we vow to keep working hard to earn that coveted spot in your refrigerator door. Every glass of milk you sip, every birthday cake you bake and every entrée you dish up is a chance to live up to that promise. As a farmer-owned dairy, it goes without saying that Darigold products are held to some pretty high standards. We stand behind the quality and consistency of everything we make. If we wouldn't be jazzed to eat it, drink it or pour it in our own kid's sippy cup, it doesn't go on the truck.

 

FARMER-OWNED

If you were a Darigold farmer in 1918, you probably milked your cows by hand. Chances are you also loaded all that milk onto a horse-drawn buggy. Thankfully, our farmers have embraced modern technology. Today, we manage one of the largest dairy co-ops in the world. Our dairy farms and plants are truly awe-inspiring, state-of-the-art facilities. But we still make products our grandparents would be proud of. Darigold milk tastes like milk should because it's flash-pasteurized, making sure it maintains all the flavor and lasts longer in your fridge. It's also free of rBST growth hormones. Our butter is made by one of America's only European-style vacuum churns, which makes for butter with fewer air bubbles that's perfect for baking. And although our cottage cheese is made in large batches, the curds are still cut by skilled human hands. Having the latest technology also helps Darigold produce less of some things. Like less waste, fuel consumption and lower environmental impact. And since Darigold dairies are local to the Northwest, we can use fewer resources getting our dairy products from farm to table.


TECHNOLOGY

What does it mean to be farmer owned? It means that our farmers literally own the company. From the barn to the boardroom, they own this place. Heck, maybe one is even writing this website... well not really. But our farmers do care about quality milk, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream and yogurt. It's a matter of personal pride. They also care about their cows and what's best for them. And if it's not a good decision for the cows, it's not right by our farmers. As a farmer-owned company, we also strive to follow sustainable practices. By being stewards of our land, air and water, we're working to ensure that future generations can follow in the Darigold tradition. 

Darigold’s primary purpose is to provide nutrition for families around the world while building prosperity for our farmer-owners.

We are committed to doing this in a responsible way in every step of our value chain:

  • In the nutritional value and high quality of our dairy products.
  • In encouraging rigorous animal care, environmental stewardship and responsible labor management on our members’ farms.
  • In how we strive for efficient and environmentally sound operations in our processing plants, transportation practices, and packaging design.
  • In our focused attention to ensuring the quality of all our products.
  • In our work environment and caring for employees.
  • In how we give back to the communities where we live and work.
  • In our leadership in the dairy industry.

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Darigold’s vision is to create an organization that is recognized as the most effective producer cooperative in the United States by consistently increasing value to our members, employees, and customers.  We are farmer owned and trusted since 1918.

As an employer of choice, we are committed to providing a challenging and rewarding work environment with a culture of teamwork and employee involvement.  From our farms to our manufacturing facilities, members of the Darigold family bring quality, service, and pride to everything that we do. 

Thank you for your interest in Darigold.

Benefits

We're proud of you. Heck, sometimes it even brings a little tear to our eye. Everyone at Darigold from our dairy farmers to our delivery drivers play a huge role in our success. That's why keeping our entire family happy and healthy is important. It seems only fair that if our customers get great products, you should get competitive benefits for all your hard work. 

Many of the following benefits may be available to you, based on employment eligibility. There are a lot of choices – and that's a good thing. We want to meet the needs of all our employees no matter where they are in their career, or in life. 

You and your eligible family members may participate in our benefits plans the first month following 30 days of employment.

  • Medical Plans: Employees have the choice of three PPO Medical Plans, including a High Deductible plan with a Health Savings Account. The medical plans use the Cigna Provider Network which offers members a large listing of Preferred Providers. All three of the medical plans offer important protection against the potentially high cost of medical care and all cover the same types of medical services, such as hospitalization, surgery and doctor visits. Preventative Care is covered at 100%. Participation in the wellness initiatives provide an opportunity for reduced employee costs.
  • Prescription: The medical coverage includes prescriptions on a three tier plan.
  • Vision: Provided as part of medical coverage with an eye exam once a year and up to $250 per year towards hardware (glasses or contacts).
  • 24-Hour Nurse Line: Gain 24/7 access to qualified nurses to answer your health-related questions.
  • Dental: Employees have the choice between two PPO Dental Plans. Dental Plan Option 1 provides 100% reimbursement of preventive services such as routine exams, cleanings and x-rays. It also provides Orthodontic coverage, which is not available under Dental Plan Option 2. Dental Plan Option 2 provides 50% reimbursement for all services. 
  • Flexible Spending Account: Employees are eligible to enroll in the Health Care Flexible Spending Account. With the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you can set aside from $120 to $6,000 per year to pay for eligible health care expenses not covered by your health insurance plan with pre-tax dollars. A Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account is available in which you can set aside up to $5,000 per year to pay for eligible dependent day care expenses.
  • 401(k): Darigold provides the opportunity to save for the future and to reduce current income taxes at the same time through a tax-qualified 401(k) Savings Plan. Darigold provides a contribution/match of up to 9%. New employees are automatically enrolled in the 401k plan at a 3% deferral rate.
  • Paid Time Off: All full-time employees are eligible to accrue paid time off.
  • Holidays: Enjoy 72 hours each year.
  • Short & Long term disability program: Darigold also provides Short & Long Term Disability benefits to eligible employees. These benefits provide income replacement protection in the event that you are unable to work because of illness or injury on a short or long term basis.
  • Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance: Darigold provides Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance to eligible employees in the amount of $50,000. Also, employees may apply for additional Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage in multiples of $25,000, starting at $75,000 up to $125,000 in coverage. Life Insurance amounts above $50,000 are subject to health statement underwriting (approval of the insurance carrier).
  • Transit/Transportation Subsidy: Employees that ride the bus 10 times a month are eligible for a free bus pass. Vanpool and RideShare subsidies are available as well. This program may not be available in all cities.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Financial support for you to obtain your degree.
  • Employee Assistance Program: You and your family have 24/7 access to phone and online support for financial questions, legal information, work-life needs and more.
  • Giving: Darigold, Inc. will match a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year for each eligible employee ($5,000 combined if spouse participates).
  • Business Travel Accident Insurance: In the event of a covered accident while on business travel our travel insurance pays a death, dismemberment, paralysis or disability benefit. 
  • Employee Travel Assist: Toll-free emergency assistance is available to you, your spouse and your dependents 24 hours a day, seven days a week when traveling 100 miles or more from your primary home (national or international travel) for 90 days or less. 

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BENEFITS OF BEING FARMALICIOUS

We're proud of you. Heck, sometimes it even brings a little tear to our eye. Everyone at Darigold from our dairy farmers to our delivery drivers play a huge role in our success. That's why keeping our entire family happy and healthy is important. It seems only fair that if our customers get great products, you should get competitive benefits for all your hard work. 

Many of the following benefits may be available to you, based on employment eligibility. There are a lot of choices – and that's a good thing. We want to meet the needs of all our employees no matter where they are in their career, or in life. 

You and your eligible family members may participate in our benefits plans the first month following 30 days of employment.

  • Medical Plans: Employees have the choice of three PPO Medical Plans, including a High Deductible plan with a Health Savings Account. The medical plans use the Cigna Provider Network which offers members a large listing of Preferred Providers. All three of the medical plans offer important protection against the potentially high cost of medical care and all cover the same types of medical services, such as hospitalization, surgery and doctor visits. Preventative Care is covered at 100%. Participation in the wellness initiatives provide an opportunity for reduced employee costs.
  • Prescription: The medical coverage includes prescriptions on a three tier plan.
  • Vision: Provided as part of medical coverage with an eye exam once a year and up to $250 per year towards hardware (glasses or contacts).
  • 24-Hour Nurse Line: Gain 24/7 access to qualified nurses to answer your health-related questions.
  • Dental: Employees have the choice between two PPO Dental Plans. Dental Plan Option 1 provides 100% reimbursement of preventive services such as routine exams, cleanings and x-rays. It also provides Orthodontic coverage, which is not available under Dental Plan Option 2. Dental Plan Option 2 provides 50% reimbursement for all services. 
  • Flexible Spending Account: Employees are eligible to enroll in the Health Care Flexible Spending Account. With the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you can set aside from $120 to $6,000 per year to pay for eligible health care expenses not covered by your health insurance plan with pre-tax dollars. A Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account is available in which you can set aside up to $5,000 per year to pay for eligible dependent day care expenses.
  • 401(k): Darigold provides the opportunity to save for the future and to reduce current income taxes at the same time through a tax-qualified 401(k) Savings Plan. Darigold provides a contribution/match of up to 9%. New employees are automatically enrolled in the 401k plan at a 3% deferral rate.
  • Paid Time Off: All full-time employees are eligible to accrue paid time off.
  • Holidays: Enjoy 72 hours each year.
  • Short & Long term disability program: Darigold also provides Short & Long Term Disability benefits to eligible employees. These benefits provide income replacement protection in the event that you are unable to work because of illness or injury on a short or long term basis.
  • Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance: Darigold provides Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance to eligible employees in the amount of $50,000. Also, employees may apply for additional Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage in multiples of $25,000, starting at $75,000 up to $125,000 in coverage. Life Insurance amounts above $50,000 are subject to health statement underwriting (approval of the insurance carrier).
  • Transit/Transportation Subsidy: Employees that ride the bus 10 times a month are eligible for a free bus pass. Vanpool and RideShare subsidies are available as well. This program may not be available in all cities.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Financial support for you to obtain your degree.
  • Employee Assistance Program: You and your family have 24/7 access to phone and online support for financial questions, legal information, work-life needs and more.
  • Giving: Darigold, Inc. will match a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year for each eligible employee ($5,000 combined if spouse participates).
  • Business Travel Accident Insurance: In the event of a covered accident while on business travel our travel insurance pays a death, dismemberment, paralysis or disability benefit. 
  • Employee Travel Assist: Toll-free emergency assistance is available to you, your spouse and your dependents 24 hours a day, seven days a week when traveling 100 miles or more from your primary home (national or international travel) for 90 days or less.


Read more about our commitment to social responsibility in our cooperative social responsibility report.

A Message from Darigold's CEO

Stan Ryan

President and CEO

Many companies work on improving sustainability because they see it as critical to their social license to operate. While we agree that is important, it doesn’t describe the primary motivation behind our Cooperative Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts at Darigold. First and foremost, we pursue sustainable practices because they are simply the right thing to do. CSR is core to our values and heritage. We pursue CSR because we care.

For the past 98½ years, our producers have been providing high quality nutrition for customers, stewarding the land to pass on to their children and grandchildren, and contributing to the communities where they live and work. Our producer-owners, customers and employees care deeply about our impact. Our goal is to operate in a way that leaves the world and the people we touch in a better state.

We live in a world of change. The dairy industry is highly innovative. We are leaps and bounds beyond the days of our grandparents’ dairy farms. Both the farms and the processing we do are dramatically more sustainable than we were even 10 years ago, let alone 70 years ago. Massive technological changes in farming, milking and processing; societal changes; advances in animal care, herd management and veterinary science; expanded knowledge about health and nutrition; shifts in the regional, national and global markets for dairy products; and changing corporate customer and consumer demands – all characterize the business environment in which we operate today. Productivity improvement is part of it. We constantly seek ways to improve milk quality and productivity, reduce our energy and water consumption, and lessen our carbon footprint. As any company, we have shortcomings, but our commitment to moving forward with a focus on innovation and sustainability is strong and permanent.

Our organizational commitment to continuous improvement on multiple dimensions drives what we do. At Darigold, we are committed to food quality and food safety. We do the right thing as we bring high quality nutrition to our neighbors and to the world. Darigold is equally committed to the safety, health and welfare of our employees in our plants and offices. The Northwest Dairy Association helps producers with their labor practices by providing educational resources and tools for SOPs (standard operating procedures) and training. Our producers are committed to providing safe working conditions for both their family members and farm employees. Fortunately, continuous improvement and sustainability also make us more competitive and enable us to more effectively meet customer demands and regulatory requirements.

In the end, the people of Darigold and the NDA care about values and social responsibility. For generations, this core fabric of responsibility has run deep in what we do. Our member-owners care about their animals, about their environment, about building their family legacy and participating in their communities. Our members often hold the same land within their family from generation to generation. Member-owners operate every day with sustainability in mind, investing in the land and in their dairy business for their children. Hand-in-hand with those in our processing and marketing operations who are also committed to a legacy of quality and sustainability – that is Darigold’s CSR story. We do the right thing based on our ongoing commitment to the values that have guided us for nearly a century – and are guiding us now into the future.

Stan Ryan

Darigold Reviews

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  • Featured Review

    Helpful (8)

    "Three years and going strong"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Darigold full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I'm approaching my three year anniversary with Darigold and have really enjoyed my time with the company thus far. In my experience I have had great co-workers and I feel like everyone is helpful and friendly. I enjoy the business casual environment and really like the mid-size of the company. I've worked at large companies before, and feel like here you can really make an impact and have a lot of ownership over your work. It's also nice to work for a company that makes good wholesome products. Everyone seems to talking about "change" at the moment but I feel like the changes are good and am very interested to see what comes next.

    Cons

    Darigold is very fast paced and the company runs lean. This can be a positive if you like diversity in your work and really want to feel a part of the process; or a challenge if you want to have a narrow focus of work and just clock in and out.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course- the increased open communication, accountability, asking "why not", and empowering employees to step up is great.

See All 149 Reviews

Darigold Photos

Darigold photo of: Seahawks Support
Darigold photo of: Root Beer Floats
Darigold photo of: Root Beer Floats
Darigold photo of: Milk Carton Boat Races
Darigold photo of: Milk Carton Boat Races
Darigold photo of: Milk Carton Boat Races
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Darigold Interviews

Experience

Experience
72%
6%
21%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
66%
8%
8%
8
5
2

Difficulty

2.8
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    Lab Tech Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Darigold (Seattle, WA) in July 2017.

    Interview

    The interview is a basis to identify whether you'll be capable of working with the large array of personalities within the company. It does not matter how much you know of dairy, it's processing or the role you'll be playing as the lab tech, they just want someone who can fit in. The vibe I received was that it is like any other production line, you just get to do some science along the way.

    Interview Questions

    • If results came back revealing a growth of bacteria, (or whatever), and you went to the guys in charge of shutting down the processing, and he denied to do it because he doesn't care, how would you respond?   Answer Question
See All 37 Interviews

Darigold Awards & Accolades

  • Best Sustainable Suppliers, McDonald's Corporation, 2012
  • Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability, U.S. Dairy Export Council, 2012

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