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‘You did it. Or you know who did.’

PD Editor Walt Cooley Published on 29 October 2010

Speaking with a friend of mine who is a high school teacher, I learned a valuable lesson about how to deal with sudden, messy situations. He told me that while waiting at a stop sign to leave the parking lot of the school one afternoon, he heard a deep thud almost like another car had bumped the back of his car.

He got out to examine the situation and discovered someone had thrown a golf ball his direction and hit his car, leaving a significant dent. Several students were in the parking lot, and it wasn’t clear which one of them or from which direction the ball came. It was a messy situation.

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His advice to me was something he said he learned over many years of teaching. He said, “I always get the closest student nearby and say, ‘You did it. Or you know who did. Which one is it?’”

I’ve found that dairy producers are often as observant and well-connected as students. While the damage done to your car (your dairy business) in the last year has been much greater than that of a golf ball’s, you’re still just as anxious to find out who’s at the bottom of it all.

Using my high school teacher friend’s philosophy, you can usually get to the source of things. I know some of you are trying to do that right now.

It’s how we found out about the National Dairy Producers Organization. A producer from Missouri called and said he’d heard about a group that was forming. When I asked about the group to another producer in New York, he knew who I should call to talk to about it. So as fun as it would be to say you heard about this organization first in Progressive Dairyman , it’s more likely you already know about it or know someone who does. Click here to read the beyond-the-basics answers about what this group hopes to do.

Once again, I appreciate your calls, e-mails, faxes and even text messages about issues and comments you hear in the industry. Thank you for having trust enough to share them with us.

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According to our recent poll, about 40 percent of dairy producers still haven’t decided on the changes, or who has the best ones, to improve the dairy industry for the future. This is one reason we continue to provide information about options for reform.

In this issue, we present the topic of federal order reforms to milk classifications. Has the evolution of federal order classes been a natural progression towards the best system, or has it diverted from its original intent and made milk pricing more complex and less competitive than it needs to be? Click here to read more.

Back to the story about my teacher friend. He said several hours and reports later, he’d talked with the student who had thrown the golf ball. While the “you did it or know who did” investigative process may take time, I believe it will work just as well for the dairy industry as it does for high school teachers. PD

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