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.


Sammi is one of those children for which parents have great expectations but a healthy dose of apprehension. In other words, her self-confidence was bound to get her into trouble now and then.

As a 13-year-old ranch kid, she could rope and ride, do the chores, cook, read, shoot and take care of herself like most kids reared up in a country raisin’.

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As a Phoenix who rises from the ashes to rebirth, so Jack, the bull terrier, was the symbol of hope that rose from the cook shack conflagration.

Jack was past his prime; though hard of hearing and losing his sight, he still continued to make the winter trip to Walker’s camp in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In spite of the cold, he slept outside near the cooking fire in his own dog bed.

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As my entry into the civilian world becomes easier, I am often asked this question: “What lessons did you learn in Afghanistan that can help us understand our way of life here in America?” Let me provide two answers to this question in this month’s column.

At the top of the list are opportunities. In much of the developing world, and especially in Afghanistan, residents are old soldiers, illiterate adults or children, who if fortunate are attending a school. Or written this way, nearly everyone has few opportunities at joining the global economy and improving their way of life. The Taliban’s overarching objective was (and is today) obstructing learning, thus through ignorance avoiding the public free-thought process that might challenge them, revolt and demand change. They are today targeting schools and bringing harm to teachers.

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Flying to California to attend World Ag Expo in February, I re-learned an important lesson about the public’s perception of agriculture.

Interestingly, it was an in-flight game that recalled an obvious, but often forgotten, reality about today’s food consumers.

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In the musical play, Camelot, the queen sings a song that has become my theme song these last few weeks: “Where are the Simple Joys of Maidenhood?” Guinevere’s lament is, of course, about her lack of knights in shining armor who have shown their valor in battle for her or who have jousted for her honor. My lament is a cry for peace.

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I wrote a book titled Blazin’ Bloats and Cows on Fire! It referred to the flammability of rumen gasses and the spectacular, but rarely harmful, occasions when they are ignited.

I assumed that the predilection for ignition was confined to ruminants but, as is often the case, I was thinking too small. Dr. Charlie broadened my horizons.

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