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.


Well, with one exception: That many dollar bills would be nice. And dairy producers could use a stack of money about that high right now.

I can always tell when milk prices are painful, as the number of letters to the editor increases and the blame for low prices gets shared more widely.

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For this issue, I set out to feature two dairies’ cross-ventilated barns. I went out to visit them with an agenda: to write an article about each one, highlighting their newly constructed barn.

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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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