This issue we celebrate our 25th anniversary of the magazine. As one who has only been a part of the history of the magazine for 20 percent of that time, I am grateful to the many who came before me and laid the foundation for today’s Progressive Dairyman, including and most especially, founder and emeritus publisher Leon Leavitt.

Cooley walt polo
Editor and Podcast Host / Progressive Dairy

As all of my own grandfathers have now passed on from this life, I consider him my adopted grandpa. His wisdom and encouragement are most appreciated and still valued here at Progressive Publishing.

Here’s a few of his recent one-liners of encouragement and wisdom, which he still shares with our staff:

“Dairymen like to hear from fellow dairymen more than the hi-powered corporate bosses.”

“Goodness and truth will always prevail.”


“Complete honesty is always the best policy. Those who use the gimmicks are desperate.”

“All our subsidies are provided by the Lord.”

True to his faith and convictions, Leon and his lovely wife, Jane, are currently serving a church service mission for the second time. His first mission was to Santiago, Chile. This one is to the Dominican Republic.

If you’ve ever met Leon you know just how personable he is. He can strike up a conversation with just about any stranger, and after meeting him you’d feel as if you could call on him at any time.

As we prepared a recap of the history of the magazine, we sent a proof to Leon for his review and approval. Much of the history portrayed in this issue is about the familiar faces readers frequently see –our editors.

However, ever-conscious of fairness, Leon wanted to make sure every employee was recognized for his or her contributions. I too thank them all publicly here too as well. Many of these colleagues are also my closest friends.

In upcoming issues, we’ll revisit article topics and people we’ve featured over the past 25 years to find out where they are now. Watch for the anniversary logo above to appear in future issues and identify those stories.

Leon’s fingerprints and legacy will be strongly evidenced in these glimpses back in time. He recently told me his buttons burst at the sight of each Progressive Dairyman in the mailbox. This one’s for you, Leon. PD

PHOTO: Emeritus Publisher Leon Leavitt and his wife, Jane, are currently serving a church service mission in the Dominican Republic.

  • Walt Cooley

  • Editor-in-chief
  • Progressive Dairyman
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