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Are you stressed and just getting by?

PD Editor Walt Cooley Published on 12 April 2010

Dairy producers and their transitions cows probably have more in common right now than they usually ever have. Both are feeling stressed and strained.I imagine that if cows could talk during transition they would be saying similar things that dairymen are saying about their industry right now.

As an example, here’s a look at some of the recent comments posted to our Facebook page :

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“The atmosphere and morale are so very low within the dairy.”

“Most of us are barely getting by.”

“We are close to a total collapse.”

Thanks for feeling comfortable enough to share your rawest of emotions with us. Beyond just Facebook, I’ve heard similar feelings expressed in personal e-mails and phone calls, too. Please keep them coming. Each one individually helps us identify what more we can do to provide you with information that is helpful. Sometimes it’s nothing more than being a listening ear.

This issue’s transition cow focus includes ideas for balancing rations for energy , common pitfalls of the transition period , letting software do more of the hard work to monitor fresh cows and identifying and treating metritis .

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This issue also includes an article that discusses why a dairy might consider bringing hoof trimming in-house . Look for the companion packs of El Lechero magazines soon to be delivered to your dairy for practical tips and diagrams that you can use to teach herdsmen how to address at least your most lame cows and not have to wait until the off-farm specialist can get there.

Looking for the bright side of today’s tough dairy situation, I feel some hope in that producers are beginning to feel more of a need to at least see each other eye to eye. There are many issues that need discussed, and we will continue to discuss them on the pages of our magazine. (See the final wrap-up of our poll on the use of MPCs in U.S. food production. We’ve had one of the best responses we’ve ever had to one of our polls on this topic.) For an industry where unity is rare, these days I occasionally see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Even when producers disagree on the reason for the industry’s continued low prices and how to fix them, their closing arguments almost always extend fellowship. For example, here’s a few more comments from our Facebook page:

“I made it look like I’m not on your side, but I am. I agree. We all must stay together on this.”

“I don’t want to think my survival is based on another dairyman going broke.”

“I wish everyone the best with their farms.”

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One Facebook fan posted that she stills needs to hear something positive. See " Dairy enthusiast sends care packages and cheese to troops " for a patriotic, uplifting story about one citizen who still supports the dairy industry with her actions even though she doesn’t milk any cows.

Keep it up, dairymen! At the core, you’re some of the best people on earth. Remember: The best note to end on is always the positive one. PD

  • Walt Cooley

  • Editor-in-chief
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