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Blogs

Read online content from popular columnists, including Ryan Dennis, Baxter Black and Yevet Tenney, as well as comments from Progressive Dairyman editors.

LATEST

My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary at the end of September by going for a swim at our friends’ quarry lake. It hit 91ºF that day, tying a record set in 1936.

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Leaves are falling, combines are rolling and pumpkin patches, corn mazes and orchards are attracting urban and rural visitors for some farm fun. An increasing number of farms are opting to add an agritourism component to their operation. One of the reasons a farm may choose to diversify with agritourism is the opportunity to bring another family member into the farming business without adding more cows or more acreage.

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Following a trip to World Dairy Expo to view new ideas and to get recharged for the year ahead, I have been reflecting on the supply struggles that the industry is facing. The last two years have seen continued growth of production holding prices down. At first glance, this seems to be a simple supply and demand issue, but as I have done some closer looking, I am wondering if there are also some issues with product/market fit.

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Farmers, as a group, have been misrepresented. People who watch TV think farmers just sit in front of a peanut bucket while whittling a stick and talking about local gossip. Now, some of my best friends gossip. In fact, old Milt was telling me he saw Billy down by the grain bins ... I digress.

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At the end of the school year, my city-dwelling cousin contacted me and asked if I would be willing to let her 12-year-old come spend a week on our farm during the summer. She wanted him to experience farm life and learn how to work. With some hesitation, we agreed to let him come.

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ByIt was a busy road to Headford, and like all Irish country roads, it didn’t have a shoulder. I was going to the Saturday mart – the weekly livestock auction – the only way available to me: by bicycle, with my work shoes strapped on back.

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