Most people who know me, know that I really like to plan things. In fact, most days I can get so caught up in what I’m going to do next that I forget what I am doing in the moment. However, even with all those plans, I find the secret to successful planning is to be able to throw said plan out the window at a moment’s notice.

Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

For instance, I am writing this on a plane to Edmonton, Alberta, from which I’ll be driving down to Red Deer for the Western Canadian Dairy Seminars.

While the airline entered today with a strict plan for all flights around the world, it just so happens my particular flight wasn’t going to go as planned.

My earlier flight of the day ran 10 minutes late. No problem, I thought, considering I had an hour layover and those 10 minutes weren’t completely necessary.

As it turns out, I was able to gain those minutes back and more. When I landed and found my next gate information, I learned that this flight would be delayed for 40 minutes, which then stretched into an hour or more.


Apparently there was something wrong with the plane originally scheduled for this flight. Luckily, the airlines had little difficultly stepping away from its original plan and found an alternative solution. Granted it took a little time, but isn’t that how it usually goes.

As you read through this issue, I hope you can discover a number of alternative solutions for your dairy farm.

They might cause you to deviate from your original plan and will most likely take a little more time to implement at first, but hopefully you will realize that a new, revised plan isn’t bad, just different. Sometimes, it may even be better.

Our cover story, “Rethinking lameness,” ( click here to read ) encourages you to forego your current hoof trimming schedule. Vic Daniel shares that having a hoof trimmer come more often can actually save a dairy farm money in the long run by preventing ulcers.

Jeff Nonay, an Alberta producer, found a unique solution for bedding and fertiliser at his farm. The article ( clck here to read ), shares how he was able to take leftover wallboard from a friend in the construction business to create an absorbent bedding material that lasts longer than just shavings alone.

He also mixes wallboard in with his compost, creating a fertiliser he finds too valuable to sell.

In an article on The importance of up-to-date accounting and recordkeeping ( click here to read ), Roger Mills offers planning tips and solutions to a very important part of any farm business – record keeping.

Using the right method for keeping farm financial records can lead to better decision-making in the long-run, he says.

Bob Milligan stresses having a hiring plan will help you recruit and place great employees ( click here to read ). “Although it seems difficult and time-consuming, hiring outstanding candidates produces rewards far greater than the cost,” Milligan says.

Since we’re on the subject of planning, there is no better time than spring to finish up your plans for the cropping season. Read over the articles on calibrating your corn planter ( click here to read ) and calibrating your forage harvester’s yield monitor ( click here to read ) to make sure your equipment is running at its best this season.

Many times I find people describe the word “progressive,” as in the title of this fine publication, as growing. I believe that is true, but it doesn’t necessarily mean growing in terms of size and cow numbers.

Instead it is more the ability to grow mentally. One such way of doing that is to have the ability to change plans and adapt given your newfound circumstances.

Happy planning and planting to all you progressive dairymen! PD