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

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Ten years ago, I made the three-hour trek to State College, Pennsylvania, to begin my college career. I was pretty sure I was armed with everything I’d need: photos of my family and friends, appropriately sized sheets, a little dry-erase board and a shower caddy. I was completely prepared, or so I thought.

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I am writing today with a slighter different tone and feel than posts of the past. We are finishing off one of our more challenging summers here on our farm – a “lost summer” in the words of my brother and farm partner. Let me provide some background to bring us to Sept. 1, 2018, and the feeling of a lost summer.

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was first published in the Delmarva Farmer.

Breaking out of our “silos” or “dairy bubbles” is a topic I’ve written about before. It’s crucial to explore other things than just what we do on a day-to-day basis on our farms.

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Like many of your families, summer at the Coffeen household is filled with a few traditions, most of which include cow shows and county fairs. But every July, we all get cleaned up for one special event that doesn’t require white pants.

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I read somewhere the average “practice life span” of a large-animal vet is eight years. After they quit L.A. practice, they go into small-animal practice, government work, industry, university, research or some other less hazardous profession.

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Finally, one in the win column for dairy farmers. The FDA has decided to restrict products like soy, rice, almond, oats and even hemp from calling themselves milk. Hopefully soon, they’ll quit calling tofu bacon and taxes a privilege.

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