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Blogs

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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I knew this conversation during milking was going to happen eventually, but when it did, I was not totally prepared.

“I think Beth needs to go on the truck,” my husband, Sam, said during Tuesday morning milking. He was referring to Beth, who was the oldest cow in the barn and occupied stall number 45 for as long as I could remember.

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As a dairy farmer, you know the hard work that goes into making that gallon of milk in the grocery store dairy case. Wholesome and nutritious, that gallon of milk represents the culmination of generations of hard work expanding and growing the family business. Milk is what your life revolves around: milking the cows, working the fields, caring for the animals. So, as members of the dairy industry, we take that word “milk” seriously.

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As you drive the rolling hills of southwest Wisconsin along Highway 18 just east of Fennimore and glance to the south, you will notice a new building dotting the skyline.

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While many kids get all excited about their summer vacation trip to the beach or a camping trip in the mountains, a dairy farm kid knows their summer will consist of fixing pasture fences, mowing hay or training a 4-H calf.

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OK, class, I don’t even know how to start this one. I’ve read about a new trend that might make us some added income on the farm. You might be thinking, “Tim, I’ve already tried farm tours, baked goods and scrapping my husband’s ‘spare parts pile.’

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When was the last time you or your spouse left the farm? Running into town for parts, drugs or groceries doesn’t count. When was the last time you physically removed yourself from the place and went somewhere with a purpose other than what I just mentioned?

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