I have dedicated this space for this issue to thank Progressive Dairyman’s longest-running columnist for his years of dedication and contributions to the magazine. Mike Gangwer, the author of “The View from Here,” retired earlier this year. His final regular column appears here.

Cooley walt polo
Editor and Podcast Host / Progressive Dairy

Mike began writing for the magazine long before I joined Progressive Dairyman 10 years ago. By his own account, he’s had a regular column for 23 years and written hundreds of columns.

Most impressive is that his run has been consecutive, with a column in every issue. Few authors are able to keep the pace Mike does – both in writing and in a foot race. (Mike is an avid marathon runner.)

Besides two of our other beloved columnists, Yevet Tenney and Ryan Dennis, few writers are able to contribute every single issue. Only a few have the stamina to do it. Mike would submit even when he didn’t have a deadline schedule from me. Writing his column was like a regular heartbeat, and he never skipped one.

I’d like to say Mike will be taking it easy in retirement, but I know he’ll still be busy. It just won’t be at writing. He has, however, promised me he would contribute when invited to write on a specific topic, especially when it would be about nutrients and soil science.


I will remember Mike’s columns most for his explanations of flying small aircraft, serving alongside foreign government agriculture officials overseas or helping a family transition their farm to the next generation.

Mike was a scientist by training, but he was most passionate about helping farmers. In many of his articles, he urged us all to remember that science wasn’t valuable if it wasn’t practically applied. Many a mouth will be fed for generations to come because of the practical applications of soil science Mike taught both here and abroad. Thank you for sharing your 10,000-foot view of so many things with us, Mike.

If you’re going to miss Mike and haven’t already been following our other columnists, I would urge you to start reading their regular submissions with this issue. You can find Yevet Tenney’s column “Just Dropping by …” here.

In this issue, Yevet responds to one of her more requested articles from the past. She has updated and expanded her commentary and suggestions for parents who are teaching their children to make good media consumption choices to be relevant for the smartphone and tablet-toting era we now live in.

You can find Ryan Dennis’ column “The Milk House” here. In his typical humorous way, Ryan describes why dairy farmers need to break out of the monotony every once in a while and do something no one would predict they would ever do.

I believe we continue to publish the best farm, family and faith-based commentary you’ll find in the dairy industry. Make sure to enjoy all of it this issue! PD

walt cooley

Walt Cooley
Progressive Dairyman
(208) 324-7513