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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives.

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A hoof trimmer from Illinois calls a client in Missouri, who calls a friend in Indiana, who calls the dairy farmers closest to exit 57 on Interstate 64 where a breakdown has occurred. No, this isn’t one of those “a fireman, a policeman and a doctor walk into a bar” type of jokes; this is a situation that occurred around 10 p.m. on a weekend following the North American Livestock Expo.

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Spring is coming. Well, we hope it is, but as I’m writing this, we are supposed to get snow today – again. I keep telling myself the warmer weather is coming. But once the warmer weather is here, we get busy. Fieldwork starts; all of those extra good weather jobs get added to the to-do list; and farm visits begin.

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It all started with an innocent comment on a Facebook post in a local community group. A young woman was looking for a place in town to start an animal rescue. I politely told her city and county laws dictate that one must own at least 10 acres to house livestock.

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Sometimes in life, we take on a project and, no matter what we do, it seems to go wrong. And no matter how hard we try to correct it, it still keeps going wrong – but if we stick with it a long time, it will turn out well, although it may be entirely different than what we planned on in the first place.

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Here’s the deal: It ain’t 1940 and most people aren’t getting their milk from their own cows or even their neighbor’s cows. These days, consumers are buying their food from the grocery store and are wondering where in the heck the product originated. Not everyone lives in rural America and has the opportunity to meet a local farmer or visit a dairy farm.

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This past January, Republican strategist and CNN political analyst Ana Navarro spoke to a packed house at the Dairy Strong conference. She referred to the Republican Party as “a big, dysfunctional family around the holiday table.” Since most farms are family businesses, I, like most in the audience, was instantly hooked.

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