Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

From the Editor

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


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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Enlightening the darkened corners

If it weren’t for four hijacked planes and 19 heinous men, this issue’s theme probably wouldn’t be an annual discussion. We’d probably discuss biosecurity every two or three years.

Before terrorists proved five years ago they were willing to massacre innocent people to voice their opinions, biosecurity was known under many different names, including risk management, disease control, visitor protocols, etc.

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Dairy producers will know better than I do about rising corn prices. “Higher corn prices forecasted in 2007” and “Highest cost of corn hits dairy farmers” have been headlines in the news during the past three months. Increasing corn prices have pushed a low milk-feed price ratio even lower, down to 2.34 in November 2006.

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