Current Progressive Dairy digital edition


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


Spring arrived in a blade of wheat this afternoon. The rebirth of the organic world is here. This is spring.

Of all times of year, spring brings immortal thoughts. The cycling of life from death and then rebuilt as new life through birth is everywhere. We gaze upwards and feel the warmth of the sun. Our pale skin turns reddish and like pigments in plant cells. They are made different when sunlight enters them.

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She came in the shadow of her big sister, Katrina, and wreaked havoc on the Cajun gulf coast of Louisiana. Her name was Rita. It was September 24, 2005. Whereas Katrina was like pouring water on a city in the bottom of a bucket, Hurricane Rita was her own 100-mile-wide tsunami.

Livestock producers across the country have been ravaged by fire and blizzard and drought; the backside of Louisiana was not spared. A massive wall of seawater forged its way up the canals and bayous into the lowlands along the coast across the southern belly of Louisiana, sweeping megatons of natural and man-made refuse inland for miles. It picked up houses, boats, cars, barns, fences, horses, cows, goats and wildlife as far as it could reach, then turned on its head and returned seaward, a monstrous backhand that was a thumb in the eye to man’s meager attempt to control the waters.

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Historic is the best adjective to describe this issue. It’s been 20 years since Progressive Dairyman first landed in a dairy producer’s mailbox.

In this issue, we take a look back at how Progressive Dairyman publisher Leon Leavitt got the magazine started. On page 36, readers will find Leon’s personal commentary about the growth of the magazine. We’ve also included comments about the magazine’s most memorable articles. It’s a section both new and old readers are sure to enjoy.

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Last month was the 20th anniversary issue of Progressive Dairyman. Publisher Leon Leavitt recently wrote the following commentary about how the magazine began and its growth during the last 20 years.

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Recently, a dairyman asked me if I knew the requirements for becoming organic. Naturally, I tried to ease his obvious insecurity with humor. I told him that he’d have to let his hair and beard grow out and start wearing tie-dye shirts with sandals. I also told him I’d be on the lookout for a Volkswagen van, since producers have to use them as their primary means of transportation if they want to become certified.

Of course, in reality, it is a serious (and often sensitive) issue. Nowadays, it seems the line between organic and non-organic producers in this country is about as thick as the line between Democrats and Republicans. Not only are they severely divided, but they forget that they have to work together.

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Lately I feel the need to laugh! My life is a tangled web of one problem after another. I worry about the stupidity of politics. I worry about the war! I worry about the kids, I worry about the educational system, I worry about the housework and the price of gasoline. There is so much to worry about; I feel overwhelmed.

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