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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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My daughter recently began collecting one of the most current and frequently distributed tradeshow giveaways – stress balls. Yet, as you probably know, the reason they’re growing in popularity is because they don’t come in just one form anymore. Among her expanding collection, she’s received a sun, an apple, a loaf of bread and a growing herd of animals, including a bison, chicken, pig, horse and, of course, a dairy cow. She calls them her “squishy toys.”

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Shortly after Reg and I were married, we invited some friends over for a Christmas party. The tree shimmered with decorations of red and gold. Packages tied in shining bows snuggled under the tree. Nametags spelled the names of each recipient. There was no mistake. Every man, woman and child would receive two or three gifts and when Santa came, it would be a magnificent celebration of giving and getting.

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Robin’s uncle gave her 2 dozen tamales. “That’s too many,” she protested.

“No, I’ve got plenty,” he said. “I bought 14 dozen from my neighbor’s wife. Her husband’s out of work.”

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When I say Alvin was a cowboy, I mean in the most basic sense. With a horse and a rope, a box of matches and a cinch ring, a pocket knife and a piggin’ string, he could do the job!

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On a beautiful autumn day in central Michigan, a colleague and I visited a dairy farm. I am responsible for completing a number of quality assurance reviews for the Department of Agriculture. Specifically, my job is evaluating the planning done on a livestock farm to mitigate a resource concern such as soil and water. We want to make sure the federal government gets some return on the investment made on that farm.

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This month I got a call from a “bitching” dairy producer (that’s how he identified himself) telling me that Idaho milk producers ought to be given an award for shooting themselves and everyone else in the foot by continually expanding cow numbers and herd size averages. His complaint was that such business practices drive down milk prices both for those expanding and for everyone else.

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