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Read online content from popular columnists, including Ryan Dennis, Baxter Black and Yevet Tenney, as well as comments from Progressive Dairyman editors.

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Sitting in my living room recently during a heat wave, I realized I think my tolerance for heat is somewhere close to that of a cow’s. After the temperature rises into the upper 70s, I’m feeling hot. If I don’t rest enough, drink enough water, eat three meals a day and stay out of the sun for some part of the day, I get headaches and I feel nauseous. Maybe that’s how a dairy cow under heat stress feels.

Unfortunately, she can’t tell us how she feels when it’s hot, but she does have her own way of saying she’s uncomfortable. This issue contains articles describing how to recognize heat stress and adjust management techniques to minimize its negative effects.

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The brown water from my body has swirled down the drain along with the grime and oil from my matted hair. The stench from the sweat under my armpits has given way to the sweet smell of deodorant. My teeth sparkle with fresh toothpaste, and the scarlet sunburn on my face has turned golden tan.

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The ad read:

For sale: 30-acre ranchette with two wells, year-round creek, round pen, loading chute, run-in shelter, paddocks, corrals, granary and poultry condo, a perfect place to watch people and critters grow and thrive in a Montana atmosphere!

Poultry condo? That would clinch it for me!

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One year ago from this last Memorial Day weekend, I stood in Afghanistan with my fellow warriors from the 10th Mountain Division. General Eikenberry, then the commander of all U.S. forces in that country, told us we were in a land far away so that our loved ones would be safe. In other words, we kept the war here in Afghanistan and in Iraq, rather than fight a war on U.S. soil.

I recently drove the 5 miles from my home in Alma and walked among the gravestones at our small cemetery on a bright sunny day. I began and ended my walk in one corner of the cemetery. Here, warriors having died in wars as far back as World War I are buried. And some have been buried as recently as our current war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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I’m excited for June Dairy Month again this year. This month I hope to be riding in a truck throwing out candy to the children of local dairy producers and their employees in a parade held in Wendell, Idaho. The free dairy products, including ice cream, yogurt and milk, passed out after the parade courtesy of dairy producers are also a treat.

If this issue were a dairy product, it would be as tasty as those freebies. There’s a special celebration of our own in this issue. On page 41, you’ll find the beginning of a special section discussing U.S. dairy breeds as seen through the eyes of dairy producers and breeders who own and milk the cattle.

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Today I taught my Bulgarian adopted son, Paul, the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Though he has been in the U.S. for eight years, he still doesn’t understand the nuances of the English language. So I had to explain the imagery of the song. I found myself marveling again at the rich, poetic imagery that leaps from the words Francis Scott Key penned on September 14, 1814, after a grueling 25-hour British bombardment at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

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