Readers will notice we’ve made some changes this month to Progressive Dairyman. We think our new combination of headline and body text typefaces are more reader-friendly. The combination also allows us to fit more information-packed words on a page.

But just because one can, doesn’t mean one should. We’ve also made sure our pictures – what some of you tell us is your favorite part of the magazine – are larger and more prominent.

Readers will also notice we’ve corresponded with some of our authors, asking them to summarize their message into a few paragraphs or discuss their topic more in depth. We think this new feature will make the useful information presented in Progressive Dairyman more conversational and easy to understand. We also asked if these authors would be willing to extend the conversation beyond the magazine. Some have submitted contact numbers or e-mail addresses with the invitation to have readers contact them directly for more information.

As always, we welcome your comments and ideas for future topics. We’d love to hear about an issue or concern on your mind so we can help you find a solution.

As a side note, we thought about holding back these changes and improvements and waiting for a new year to introduce them. But just like other decisions about our publication, we always ask, “What would a dairyman do?”


Our answer was simple, “Why wait?”

If a dairy producer finds a great product or technique that improves production, herd health, breeding or any other production-related process, he or she is not going to wait until the beginning of a calendar year to execute a change. We, like our readers, believe that fiscal or calendar years should have little influence over decision making when it comes to making improvements. Increases to the bottom line are measured in 12-month periods, but an improvement should never wait for what looks good on paper.

While everyone will close out the books on 2006 this month, we realize dairying will not have changed much come January 1, 2007. Most dairy producers will still face their current challenges, including high feed costs and low milk prices, then too.

For those reasons, we’re still working on some other improvements, and we’ll introduce them soon. We hope these improvements present a tip, a new idea or the e-mail address to someone who can help increase your operation’s bottom line.

While unintentional, I’m intrigued these changes correspond with the Christmas season. As we’ve been asking ourselves, “What would a dairyman do?”, I can’t help but imagine how dairy producers will celebrate Christmas. They’ll probably be milking or calving while their families wait to open gifts.

But I also imagine work placed a dairyman in his parlor some 2,000 years ago to witness another birth. It wasn’t called a parlor then, rather a stable. But it’s where Christmas was born.

So if work keeps you in the barn on Christmas, enjoy the blessing of being where it all started. PD