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Your opinions needed

PD Editor Walt Cooley Published on 17 May 2011

Two years ago we requested a few randomly selected U.S. producers in all regions of the country take a readership survey. Thankfully, many of them participated.

Inserted in the center of this issue is a new readership survey. We’ve included questions that we believe if answered will help us better serve you as a Progressive Dairyman reader.

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Last time around, all of our readers benefitted from the answers of a few. Why survey our entire readership now? This issue’s survey contains some fastball questions. And we need your answers to get a more accurate sample representation of the industry.

Here’s a few of those fastball questions:

  • Which group(s) represent your dairy’s dairy policy interests with lawmakers?
  • In the last three years, how has the amount of influence among your dairy’s key decision-makers changed?
  • How long will it take for you to return your dairy’s finances/equity position to pre-2009 levels?

We realize some of these questions may be sensitive. The survey will be anonymous, unless you choose to identify your dairy or request to see the survey results yourself. Even then, all that will be required for delivery of results is an e-mail address. No name must be attached to it.

The following examples are a few of the decisions we’ve made based upon the previous survey’s answers. I hope seeing how your answers helped contribute to these successes will encourage you to participate this time around.

  • After reviewing the survey results, we began sending multiple copies of El Lechero in packages of five to dairies with more than 500-plus cows. Dairies can still request as many copies as they need. If you haven’t already requested enough copies, do so soon.

This survey will help us further determine which of you most benefits from this magazine. Without a specific request, you may be taken off the list and no longer receive this valuable education resource and training tool.

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  • We learned that the 500-cow dairy is much like a teenager – still growing up. (See “ Are we holding back our economic recovery? ” from Progressive Dairyman , Sept. 22, 2009, pg. 1) Since then, we’ve included more content to help these dairies and showcased dairies who have successfully matured.
  • The survey confirmed that the larger the dairy, the more likely key decision-makers other than the dairy owner were included in the decision-making process. This year’s survey attempts to clarify which decisions dairymen include these other key decision-makers in.
  • As of two years ago, most of you still preferred reading a print magazine. We want to know if that is still the case. How much information do you want to receive on your phone, tablet or office computer?

As we did before, we will report on the results in upcoming issues.

Next, this issue contains another comparative analysis of the recent reports that have been published about the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, a form of margin-triggered supply management.

You may have heard one side of the story from your pro-supply management neighbor and seen references to the other side of the story from the Internet or your processor. See the studies side-by-side on pages 41-43 .

Also in this issue is the beginning of a review of the raw milk debate occurring throughout the country. Several states have pending legislation to make the sale of raw milk legal. Cast your vote in our ongoing poll.

As always, thanks for your time reading the magazine, however much it is. (Oh, by the way, that’s a survey question too.) PD

  • Walt Cooley

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

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