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My challenge to you: Get moo-ving in Movember

Progressive Dairyman Editor Peggy Coffeen Published on 06 November 2015

Progressive Dairyman is proud to once again join in the MoDairy effort to promote men’s health during the month of November – or rather, Movember.

One out of every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and last spring, my dad was one of them. It was a humbling blow when I suddenly realized that my hard-working dairy farmer father was not invincible.



When he sat down with me and uttered that six-letter word, my heart sank, but I was also filled with hope and optimism that it was treatable and beatable. Thanks to early detection, surgery to remove the gland was successful, and he is now back in the barn milking cows.

Needless to say, men’s health issues have a whole new meaning to me, which is why I was excited to learn that this year, the Movember Foundation has added a new initiative: MOVE – a 30-day challenge to engage in physical activity for 30 minutes each day. This campaign opens up an opportunity to support and fundraise for prostate cancer research and awareness for those of us who can’t grow a decent mustache, and it is a reminder that many of us can benefit from a little more movement, myself included.

As a former marathon runner, I never thought the day would come when a 5-mile run wasn’t part of my daily routine, but I must admit that I don’t pound the pavement as much as I used to these days. We are blessed with a busy family life, so an extra hour of coveted sleep sometimes wins over a morning workout.


I have geared my goal to hit the recommended mark of 10,000 steps per day through regular exercise and more activity. I even began wearing one of those fancy little pedometer watches about a year ago to keep myself on track.


If any of you have ever worn a FitBit or other type of pedometer or tracker, you may have impressed yourself with how many steps you took just going about your normal activities. For me, the surprise wasn’t how many steps I took; it was how many I didn’t take.

With a home office and a sedentary job, a typical day at my desk racks up a mere 1,500 steps by 5 p.m. Chasing around a curious and hands-on 1-year-old certainly adds more steps, but by 8 p.m., I may only be at 5,000 – a far cry from my goal.

This awareness pushes me to take extra intentional strides, like parking farther away from the entrance to the grocery store or choosing to walk with a friend rather than join in a meal. A workout DVD or a couple of miles on the treadmill are generally required in order to hit my 10,000 steps.

It’s a safe bet to say that most of you out there would bury me in a step challenge. A day on a dairy farm means lots of time on your feet. In fact, while recently visiting Kinnard Farms (read about their brand new state-of-the-art facility), I was told that herd manager Shaun Hardtke put on 15 miles (the equivalent of around 30,000 steps) in just one day.

How many paces do you put on performing your daily duties on the dairy, such as feeding calves, breeding cows, grooming stalls, milking and managing? An activity tracking device can give you a good estimate. These are available at all price points and levels of technology – from basic clip-on step counters to Bluetooth-enabled bracelets to downloadable smartphone apps.

My challenge to you is to track your steps, snap a photo of your pedometer or screen shot your dashboard and share it with Progressive Dairyman via Facebook or Twitter by including #ProgressiveDairyman or #PDMag in your caption. Include a description of what you did on the dairy that day, and at the end of November, you could be selected to win a Proud to Dairy hat! Each day you post is considered one entry for the drawing.


So show your support for men’s health and get moo-ving in Movember.  PD

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PHOTO 1: Photo provided by Thinkstock.

PHOTO 2: Staff photo.