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1006 PD: Editors Note

Published on 02 October 2006

Seasons, technology and change
I can always tell when fall is finally here. Workdays begin in long, not short, sleeve shirts. Workweeks end with the excitement of football, both for hometown high school heroes and proud professional fanatics. Skies are a bit more cloudy, and days grow shorter and shorter.

Fall is a daily reminder of my college days. Cool, moist September mornings bring back memories of early morning walks to lectures. Then, the library was always warm but not so much as was my sweetheart’s embrace. Fond memories remain of time spent in both of those places.

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Now, as a couple, evening walks under autumn colors and over crunching leaves re-ignite the feelings that accompanied a new semester – the excitement which came from knowing all the world’s knowledge was there for the choosing.

Isn’t choice what college is all about? When to go to class or to study? But those choices were easy for me compared to choosing what university to attend.

This issue of Progressive Dairyman includes our university review section (pg. 51-55). We contacted universities with animal agriculture programs throughout the United States and Canada for information about their programs.

If they responded, we included their contact information and website. We hope the information helps our readers, or their children or grandchildren, make an important life decision easier, or at least with more information.

In our attempt to compile a comprehensive list, we know some may have been left out. If we left out your alma mater, e-mail me (); we’ll track down the information and include it on our new online archive.

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That’s right. Readers asked for it. We created it – an online, searchable archive. If a reader knows he saw an article about milk tank cleaning in our magazine a month or two ago, he can now search by keyword to find the article.

Our database also allows readers to comment on articles appearing in Progressive Dairyman or our other publications, or they can start their own discussion about industry topics in our message boards. These new features are just some of many changes that visitors to our redesigned site will notice. In this issue, Progressive Dairy Publishing’s Webmaster Ray Merritt describes all the other new changes to our website (pg. 30).

Change is really what this issue is all about. Our theme this month is technology. We’ve included articles that talk about how technology and bioresearch are affecting producers at the farm level. Some of our articles talk about technologies whose practical, on-farm applications have yet to be discovered. However, many of them will affect farms in the future.

One technology already permeating U.S. society is cell phone use. About 65.2 percent of the U.S. population uses a cell phone and even more people use the Internet (68.2 percent), according to The World Factbook by the CIA. The U.S. cell phone market is reaching saturation, but how is this technology affecting dairy producers?

That is one of the questions we asked Tamara Kass, director of agriculture products at DTN. Kass said using a cell phone to receive on-the-go information can increase profitability. I’d like to know if our readers agree. Through Oct. 20, our message boards will have an online poll asking readers if they agree or disagree with that statement.

I’ve already posted my opinion about cell phones and profitability on the site.

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Now, if only technology could find a way to turn down Mother Nature’s summer heat, I’d be happy. But then again, maybe someone is already working on that. PD

—Walt Cooley, Editor

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