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

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Editor’s Note: This column is submitted by Chuck Nicholson, an adjunct associate professor in the college of agriculture and life sciences at Cornell University and a former clinical associate professor of supply chain management at Penn State University. Nicholson is one of three economists who contributed to the 2017 “Study to Support Growth and Competitiveness of the Pennsylvania Dairy Industry,” commissioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Center for Dairy Excellence.

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I knew this conversation during milking was going to happen eventually, but when it did, I was not totally prepared.

“I think Beth needs to go on the truck,” my husband, Sam, said during Tuesday morning milking. He was referring to Beth, who was the oldest cow in the barn and occupied stall number 45 for as long as I could remember.

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As a dairy farmer, you know the hard work that goes into making that gallon of milk in the grocery store dairy case. Wholesome and nutritious, that gallon of milk represents the culmination of generations of hard work expanding and growing the family business. Milk is what your life revolves around: milking the cows, working the fields, caring for the animals. So, as members of the dairy industry, we take that word “milk” seriously.

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As you drive the rolling hills of southwest Wisconsin along Highway 18 just east of Fennimore and glance to the south, you will notice a new building dotting the skyline.

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While many kids get all excited about their summer vacation trip to the beach or a camping trip in the mountains, a dairy farm kid knows their summer will consist of fixing pasture fences, mowing hay or training a 4-H calf.

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OK, class, I don’t even know how to start this one. I’ve read about a new trend that might make us some added income on the farm. You might be thinking, “Tim, I’ve already tried farm tours, baked goods and scrapping my husband’s ‘spare parts pile.’

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