Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Watch for miracles this Christmas

PD Editor Walt Cooley Published on 10 December 2013

Just when I think it’s going to be difficult to find a Christmas-themed message that relates to the dairy industry, a miracle occurs. For this issue, several came together.

From the beginning of my employment with Progressive Dairyman, our publisher emeritus Leon Leavitt has encouraged us to find Christ-centered articles and Nativity-themed art for our Christmas issues.



We always get positive comments about this tradition from readers and even mail carriers delivering our magazine. They all have a similar theme, thanking us for our courage to represent our beliefs when it may not be politically correct or commercially beneficial to do so.

We appreciate your letters, and they are uplifting. We are most grateful to serve an industry that shares many of the same religious values that we do. Our first stated mission at Progressive Dairyman is to: “Treat each other – our team, our readers and our clients – like family. And follow the golden rule.”

So the art on the cover of our magazine is really as much a reflection of your faith as it is our own. Thank you for making us part of your family.

This issue contains an article that I’ve hoped to publish for years. Click here to view this article. I’ve hesitated doing it before now as I know that it could generate lots of email and phone calls.

But the article really is “the reason for the season.” We’ve compiled the charitable activities of several dairies. We asked them how their efforts benefit others and why they do it.


Now for the disclaimer. We know there are many more charitable dairy farmers in the country than could possibly be featured on one page in our magazine. We applaud all of your efforts – most of which will silently bless the lives of many others. Really, that is the best type of service.

However, if you have a unique charity that you and your dairy are involved in, and especially if you think it would benefit from having more involvement from other dairy producers, please let us know about it. You can email me and perhaps we will feature it in a future issue.

As we were putting this issue of the magazine together, I emailed Leon Leavitt, who is serving a church service mission in the Dominican Republic, to ask him if he had any words of wisdom to share with readers this Christmas. Click here to view his thoughts.

After reading his comments, I thought of a “Bobby Decker,” a special someone in need, that could use a new coat or special Christmas gift. I resolved to follow through on that idea. If every one of our readers did as Leon suggested, perhaps half a million would be blessed this Christmas season.

Next, are you still asking, “What should I get that tough-to-buy-for farmer in my life?” Two of our columnists offer their suggestions. Click here to view Mechanics Corner or click here to view HERd management. You might be surprised at how their recommendations put your mind at ease.

Our special gift to you is a list of the top 25 articles published on this year. Some of the top articles have yet to be seen in print, so we’ve run them in this issue. Click here to view the list.


What I like most about this list is that we reconnect with the authors or sources of these stories and ask them for an update about the topic that has generated enough buzz to make them the most-read.

Finally, in this issue, we interview outgoing NMPF CEO Jerry Kozak. Click here to read the interview. Jerry said he was reluctant to give an exit interview because he thought people should want to know what incoming CEO Jim Mulhern’s vision for the organization is more than his parting thoughts.

We appreciated him granting the interview. We asked Jerry what advice he has been giving to his replacement and whether he thought his leadership was polarizing. That seemed like the question he had the most difficulty answering.

Miracles happen because of the greatness and generosity of God, often as He nudges us His children to act and bless the lives of our fellow mankind.

As you go about your Christmas season, please share the miracles you see with us. Perhaps they could be the miracle someone else needs to hear about in a future Christmas season. Merry Christmas! PD

  • Walt Cooley

  • Editor-in-chief
  • Progressive Dairyman
  • Email Cooley