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1508 PD: Pride and Progressive

Published on 16 October 2008

This issue I’d like to share with you two of my recent reflections.

First, I’d like to thank producers from around the country for stopping at our booth to say hello during World Dairy Expo. Many of you were willing to chat about what was on your mind and what you liked about the magazine. Your encouraging words buoyed our determination to continue to serve you with practical, unbiased articles; timely news; and thought-provoking opinions. More than 200 visitors also took time to share with us why they were proud to dairy. Those recorded comments will begin playing on www.proudtodairy.com soon. If you didn’t make it to World Dairy Expo, we’d still like to give you a free hat. Send an e-mail to with a statement of why you are proud to dairy. We’ll get your free gift on the way.

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I’d also like to thank the numerous moms, spouses and women who told us why they love working on or with those of their dairy. Your comments were genuine. You truly were proud to dairy because we witnessed many of you give away your hat to a husband or child. Your selflessness is part of what makes our industry great. We’re already brainstorming about a gift that you will enjoy even more than a ball cap. Stay tuned.

Second, I’d like to share a piece of Progressive Dairyman’s mission statement with you and explain why I believe it separates us from the crowd. We strive to:

Create an open forum for industry discussion and an easy-to-read magazine of expert information about the dairy industry.

To illustrate what this means, I use the following analogy. Imagine an infinitely large round table with producers, nutritionists, veterinarians, professors, extension educators and commercial companies seated at the table. Each group has something to say that they believe will benefit the industry. We encourage anyone willing to speak to begin a conversation. In discussing problems, challenges and new opportunities facing our industry, we’ve seen, and even expect, an occasional warm disagreement amongst those participating. Of course, everyone’s experiences and ideas are different. Thus, solutions will vary in their procedure, product or philosophy. We don’t view ourselves as a judge in this discussion, rather as a moderator.

Our role is similar to that of the moderators of recent presidential debates. The moderators in these forums ask the questions and officiate who gets to speak and when. They do not, however, interrupt the discussion to correct inaccuracies or misstatements. That fact-checking occurs after the debaters have made their case.

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The rules of our forum require speakers to discuss the facts, not their biases. We do our best at prescreening those who comment and their opinions to maintain the integrity of our audience and forum. However, the rules of our forum allow for a discussion to play out rather than interrupt it. We think you, the dairy producer, know when someone is feeding you a line. So we’ll let you decide.

Why does this make us different? We believe it services you, the dairy producer, with the broadest diversity of thought in the industry. It’s based on the principle that you can choose what works best for you and your operation. I’m sure you’ve done your own fact-checking prior to choosing whom you’ll vote for on November 4, and I’m sure decisions impacting your operations are as heavily scrutinized, if not more so, than your presidential selection. PD

Walt Cooley
Editor
Progressive Dairyman

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