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.


When a New York City-based public relations firm called my cellphone earlier this year to extend an invitation to interview Texas dairyman Donald De Jong, I took notice. Few dairy producers I’ve met before have communications professionals on retainer, especially ones who work in the Big Apple.

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Historically, when I make a career change, dairy farmer milk prices go up. You can look it up.

When I moved from one Wisconsin weekly agricultural newspaper to another in 1989, the U.S. average milk price increased about $1.30 per hundredweight from 1988.

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Failure. I looked at the big fat F next to organic chemistry and felt every dream, every optimistic thought in my head fade to gray and disappear.

I had just finished the fall semester of my junior year of college and returned home for Christmas break. It was the first time I’d ever failed a class or anything for that matter. Sitting there in my room, I’d never felt so frustrated, so defeated, so hopeless.

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These days, it seems everyone loves the little red barn.

That includes Craig Culver, former CEO and founder of Culver’s restaurants.

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Progressive Dairyman has received more comments and feedback about tail docking than any other issue since the debate about supply management and margin projection in the 2014 Farm Bill. It’s one of those issues dairy producers have strong opinions about one way or the other.

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I was stuck. My family was gone. I was 20 hours from home in teeny-tiny Kirksville, Missouri, and day one of college classes started the next day.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been away from home, nor was it the first time I’d moved. Between summer camps and my family moving from California to Connecticut when I was 10, being away from home and moving were not foreign concepts to me.

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