Current Progressive Dairyman digital edition

From the Editor

Read comments from Progressive Dairyman editors related to each print issue of the print magazine, ranging from the origin of specific magazine articles to thoughts about industry trends.


Sitting in my living room recently during a heat wave, I realized I think my tolerance for heat is somewhere close to that of a cow’s. After the temperature rises into the upper 70s, I’m feeling hot. If I don’t rest enough, drink enough water, eat three meals a day and stay out of the sun for some part of the day, I get headaches and I feel nauseous. Maybe that’s how a dairy cow under heat stress feels.

Unfortunately, she can’t tell us how she feels when it’s hot, but she does have her own way of saying she’s uncomfortable. This issue contains articles describing how to recognize heat stress and adjust management techniques to minimize its negative effects.

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I’m excited for June Dairy Month again this year. This month I hope to be riding in a truck throwing out candy to the children of local dairy producers and their employees in a parade held in Wendell, Idaho. The free dairy products, including ice cream, yogurt and milk, passed out after the parade courtesy of dairy producers are also a treat.

If this issue were a dairy product, it would be as tasty as those freebies. There’s a special celebration of our own in this issue. On page 41, you’ll find the beginning of a special section discussing U.S. dairy breeds as seen through the eyes of dairy producers and breeders who own and milk the cattle.

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Historic is the best adjective to describe this issue. It’s been 20 years since Progressive Dairyman first landed in a dairy producer’s mailbox.

In this issue, we take a look back at how Progressive Dairyman publisher Leon Leavitt got the magazine started. On page 36, readers will find Leon’s personal commentary about the growth of the magazine. We’ve also included comments about the magazine’s most memorable articles. It’s a section both new and old readers are sure to enjoy.

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Last month was the 20th anniversary issue of Progressive Dairyman. Publisher Leon Leavitt recently wrote the following commentary about how the magazine began and its growth during the last 20 years.

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Flying to California to attend World Ag Expo in February, I re-learned an important lesson about the public’s perception of agriculture.

Interestingly, it was an in-flight game that recalled an obvious, but often forgotten, reality about today’s food consumers.

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As a recent high school graduate and college student, I worked the summer and fall seasons as a sprinkler maintenance technician for a large university. When I took the job I had only a basic understanding of sprinkler systems, but I needed a paycheck and was willing to learn more. I was fairly paid and professionally treated. And although I had a fancy title, it meant little more than ‘grunt’ because that’s the way management had historically viewed the position.

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