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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 Dairy editors.

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In a large room decorated with maps of Tajikistan, nearly 15 people gather for a day of training. These are Tajiks. They are agronomists. They speak Russian, and they are all men, except for two. This is their story.

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As global warming increases, and most agree it has regardless of the cause, ruminant raisers are going to become conversant in a new field of science called ‘Bovine Emissions Lately Considered Hazardous’, or B.E.L.C.H.

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As the year ends, it brings a sense of closure for all that has transpired within the dairy industry during the past 12 months. We’ve seen higher than normal farm-gate milk prices coupled with record-breaking feed and fuel costs. Who would have ever thought corn would be more than $9 and wheat would be $4.50? And now diesel is $3.65 per gallon locally! What seems constant are the inconsistencies and the unexplained variables in the milk price/feed cost ratio.

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Frost crocheted like lace flutters over the windows and waits for the sun to melt it away. The morning sunlight leaps and dances over the new fallen snow, and the blue abyss of sky stretches forever in cloudless wonder over the trees that droop with their burden of wet snow and icicles, which scrape the whiteness below.

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In the month before our county fair, our mail box is filled with letters from 4-H kids inviting us to the fair and to take a look at their show animals. For example, “I’m in the sixth grade, my second year in 4-H in the beef project, and I love it! My steer’s name is Chipper, come take a look at him. Sincerely…”

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I know it’s old, but I get tickled when I hear the saying, “Remember, you’re unique … just like everyone else.” I’ve visited dairies from the West Coast to the East Coast, from Canada to South Texas. If it weren’t for the cows on the place, a non-industry person probably couldn’t tell a Wisconsin herd and a New Mexico herd were even in the same business (even though they usually are).

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