My parents always pushed us to be lifelong learners. We watched my dad reading industry magazines. We saw my parents going to meetings about all different business, agriculture and dairy topics. That instilled in my siblings and me that we should always be learning.

Messing-Kennedy is a dairy producer located in Michigan.

Reading is one of my favorite activities and it always has been. My mom even had to limit my reading time one summer because I was spending too much time reading and not enough time doing chores.

When reading the Oct. 1, 2016, issue of Progressive Dairyman, I particularly enjoyed Bob Milligan's article entitled, "Learning and improvement are essential success ingredients." In the article, he brought up the fact that most students leaving college lack the love of lifelong learning.

"Many, especially young men, leave with a distaste for learning," he wrote. I think most of us would agree that agriculture has been rapidly changing over the last 50 years, and if you didn't continue to educate yourself, you would have fallen behind quickly.

We are going into meeting season, and I hope you will not only take advantage of meetings yourself, but also give your employees the chance to learn. That can be as simple as giving them job-related materials like Progressive Dairyman, or even bringing them into a meeting with the nutritionist or some other consultant who may affect their job. By making your employee more engaged in the farm, you are helping them see it as more than a job. They see how each job is important to a farm running properly.


Anthony J. D'Angelo said, "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." Just like a farm always needs to grow and progress, so do the people who help a farm operate.  end mark