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.


I was dressed in a long, white sequined gown that glittered and caught the light at every turn. My husband, Reg, wore a white tuxedo, gloves and an elegant tie. My gloved hand rested on his arm as we emerged from the limousine stepping onto the marble entryway of the towering mansion.

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My mechanic has a lot in common with my mother’s doctor. When the steering wheel locked up on my 3/4-ton, 4-speed 1969 Ford F-250 with split rims and a manual choke, we cajoled it down to George’s garage in town. On my truck’s last visit to George’s, he replaced the power steering pump, so I figured I was good for a while but not so! I left it over the weekend with instructions to please fix it.

My sweet mother has had a long relationship with her doctors. They have kept her ticking through the Great Depression, World War II, four children and two husbands, as more than her share of afflictions struck away at her health. She still has an ongoing schedule of doctor’s appointments. Sometimes she has a complaint, or the visit is just for a checkup. But no matter the purpose of the visit, it seems the doctor can always find something that’s not quite right which requires an additional test or pill.

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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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