In fifth grade, I thought Atari computers were cool. Typing my report in green letters on a black screen and printing to a tractor feed printer seemed so advanced. My teachers said they were a blessing for students; they complained about typewriters.

Now it’s hard to believe that my current computer’s temporary memory is 2,250 times larger and 10,000 times faster than my first computer from the early 90’s – a Macintosh LC. And even more impressive, a flash drive (thumb drive) that is small enough to fit in your pocket can still hold 5,500 times more information than a floppy disk. The speed we process information and the amount of information available is incredible. I recently read that the amount of information on the Internet doubles every 45 minutes.

In this issue, we feature a new software program being launched by ABS’ Technical Services team. If widely adapted, I think it has the ability to dramatically change the way cows are monitored.

Also, within the next year, ABS will be able to link the information collected with the new software to a database in order to benchmark individual herds against the combined scores of several hundred thousand other cows that the company consults in North America. It’s exciting stuff!

Also in this issue is my interview with Randy Mouw, a dairy producer in Ontario, California. Randy recently testified in front of the House Agriculture Committee on labor needs in U.S. agriculture. He describes what we need in the dairy industry – changes to immigration law. Thank you, Randy for a job well done.


This issue we’ve also added a new column that I think readers will enjoy. “Tales of a Hay Hauler” will appear in Progressive Dairyman for the next six months. The columnist, Brad Nelson, has included an introduction of himselg. I’d like to hear what you think about Brad’s columns. His articles have appeared in our sister publication, Progressive Hay Grower, for years. Readers say his columns make them laugh.

Brad’s stories are real, which is why I think readers relate. I even recently received an e-mail that said a reader had recommended that one of his friends who was having trouble in his marriage read a few of Brad’s articles. According to the reader, doing so “saved their marriage.”

Please let me know if you have any similar experiences. Regardless of whether Brad’s articles save your marriage or not, if you like them and think Progressive Dairyman should keep running them, please let me know. You can find Brad’s first here. PD