Current Progressive Dairy digital edition


Find out more about dairy farmers and industry experts, including the producers behind unique dairy operations and innovative management strategies.



So few young people are willing or able to return to the family farm these days, and those who do are often bogged down with family dynamics and power struggles.

The Risser family of Bainbridge, Pennsylvania, was able to avoid these problems when welcoming in the next generation by growing the operation.

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The day after the auction of the cattle and equipment provides a mix of emotions for a dairyman. There is a bittersweet sense of relief that he is no longer responsible for milking and feeding his herd, but now that he has all this free time to think, he is afraid. What is in store for him in the future?

As he stands in the vacant freestall barn, he starts to wonder what will happen to him and his family now that he no longer has to be on duty 24/7. He starts to worry. What is he going to do? Maybe selling the farm was not a good idea after all. After the sale of the real estate closes, he will have 30 to 60 days left to live in the farmhouse.

Where will he be living after that? Who is going to hire a middle-aged man who has always milked cows and worked for himself? The feelings of anxiety are natural. The dairyman is leaving his comfort zone and walking into the unknown.

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Senior, University of Kansas
Intern with Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.
Based in Kansas City, Missouri

Q. In what area are you pursuing a degree?
I am studying journalism, specializing in news/information and strategic communications.

Q. What is your agricultural background?

I had little experience in agriculture prior to this internship, but I love what I’ve learned about the industry since working for Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Q. What previous internship positions have you held?
I have been a public relations intern at Barkley in Kansas City, Missouri; a sports intern at WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and a sports intern at WDUZ-AM 107.5 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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Dairy Policy Action Coalition lobbyist and spokesman Dennis Wolff recently spoke with Progressive Dairyman Editor Walt Cooley about the Pennsylvania-based organization’s agenda to ‘clean up’ dairy policy. Wolff discusses the group’s recent efforts to lobby Congress to increase the frequency of dairy product price reporting.

Q. How did DPAC get started?
WOLFF: A group of dairy farmers started it about 10 months ago with the help of Bernie Morrisey and Sherry Bunting. This was basically a group of producers who wanted less talk and more action. That would be the reason why it is called the Dairy Policy Action Coalition.

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Earlier this summer, the Midwest Dairy Association launched a unique activity through its Facebook page.

The application, "Butterfy Yourself," allows users to upload an image of themselves to see themselves scuplted in butter.

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Senior, California Polytechnic State University
Intern with the California Milk Advisory Board
Based in Modesto, California

Q. In what area are you pursuing a degree?
I am a double major in dairy science and agri-business management.

Q. What is your agricultural background?
I was born and raised in the California dairy industry and have even experienced dairying in a different country. From the day I came home from the hospital to where I stand today, I have been a dairy boy 100 percent of the way. From being the worker's son to the partner in the family business, my roots are deep in dairy.

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