Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

No, I’m still here

Progressive Dairyman Editor Walt Cooley Published on 31 March 2014

Recently, I’ve had several inquiries as to where I’ve been lately, as my face has not appeared on this page a few times already this year. I’m still here. However, you’ll continue to see a few different faces on this page from time to time.

As I’ve answered the recent inquiries as to my whereabouts, I’ve determined that my regular column on this page may lead some to believe that I’m the only editor here. That’s not true, nor am I the only one with industry insight.



Progressive Dairyman is edited by a team of award-winning journalists. We take a very collaborative approach to our coverage. My fellow editors have a significant voice in the decisions about the content of the magazine – what we write and how it gets edited.

If you haven’t already met them in person, read below to meet my editorial colleagues. These are the faces you will see again on this page.

  • Karen Lee

  • Tenure: Five years
  • Email Lee

If I were a dairy product, I would be ice cream. (I always try to maintain a positive outlook on life which, like ice cream, can boost the spirits of others around me. Plus, I’m from Wisconsin and after this past winter, I’m still feeling a little frozen.)

Currently, my main focus topics are animal welfare, milking equipment and manure handling, although I can be found writing about other topics as needed. For a long time, I was known as the Midwest editor, covering events and news of the region. In addition, I’ve been managing our Canadian edition of Progressive Dairyman.

As I’ve come to spend more time north of the border, I have placed the Midwest in Peggy Coffeen’s capable hands. In my free time, I farm with my husband on a hobby scale, raising cash crops and dairy bull calves up through weaning age. I also enjoy volunteering in my community in the FFA alumni, my church and dairy promotion organizations.


  • Emily Caldwell

  • Tenure: Four years
  • Email Caldwell

If I were a dairy product, I too would be ice cream. One of my favorite projects over the years has been managing our annual Flavor Faceoff competition, where we ask participants to select a flavor and ask their peers to vote for them. I’m always scouting new concoctions to try for myself.

I started out as an intern with the magazine in 2008 and then was hired on full-time after I graduated from Penn State. I spent a year and a half in Idaho and then moved back to work remotely from western Pennsylvania, where my family operates a grazing dairy. I cover East Coast events and topics, and I specialize in subject areas of milk quality, niche marketing and calf and heifer raising.

My social media feed would convey that I am passionate about my job and the dairy industry, dote on my adorable nieces and have a unique appreciation for moose. (Therefore, my favorite ice cream flavor is Moose Tracks!)

  • Peggy Coffeen

  • Tenure: Less than a year
  • Email Coffeen

If I were a dairy product, I would be deep-fried cheese curds. These fair-time favorites are a signature food of America’s Dairyland. Fresh cheese chunks are dipped in beer batter and dunked in a deep fryer to crispy perfection on the outside with an ooey, gooey middle. They may not be healthy, but they sure are tasty.

Based in northeast Wisconsin, I handle dairy news and events throughout the Midwest. You will also find me covering topics like A.I. and breeding, hoof health, cow comfort, housing and facilities. Once a farm girl, always a farm girl.

My family and I raise registered Holstein show heifers as a “backyard” project. Pulling on my barn boots and getting my hands dirty every day not only keeps me humble, but it reinforces the respect I have for our readers who make dairying their way of life.


  • Walt Cooley

  • Tenure: Eight years
  • Email Cooley

If I were a dairy product, I would be a grilled cheese sandwich. (I love these, especially those made at World Dairy Expo. They’re like Girl Scout cookies to me. I’m in heaven the few weeks they’re available.)

I cover current news and business management for the magazine, as well as herd health and nutrition. I also report on industry developments in the West. My job really is my hobby, and it’s probably not uncommon to receive a communication from me during the night or early morning hours.

I have a hard time “leaving work at the office.” When not in front of a screen or on the road for meetings and farm visits, I enjoy reading, studying about management and cultivating a garden. PD