It was only 6 p.m., yet the full moon was in full view for the world to see.

Coffeen peggy
Coffeen was a former editor and podcast host with Progressive Dairy. 

Out back by our barn, there stood my 4-year-old in his birthday suit. One hand on his little hip, the other holding a water hose, intently spraying a bare spot on the lawn.

“What are you doing? You are making a muddy mess!” this mama barked from across the yard.

He replied with great detail and conviction exactly what he was doing: Making a pond for his duck decoy, so that his little friend could come over and they could go duck hunting with their Nerf guns.

What looked to be my little boy’s latest trail of destruction was simply a step in his master plan to make the vision in his mind a reality. In that moment, I couldn’t bring myself to conserve the water. All I could do was take a step back and allow it to flow with his creativity.


Perhaps you can relate to a piece of this story. The busy toddler. The muddy mess. Or the way it feels to have a vision for something so strongly embedded in your mind that despite what your mom or anyone else tells you, you can’t shake the desire to bring it into reality.

In fact, Progressive Dairy started out the same way. Last spring, during our Progressive Publishing company meeting, founder Leon Leavitt and his wife, Jane, recalled the day 35 years earlier when Leon picked up a local dairy newsletter and saw not what it was, but what it could be. That thin leaflet became the foundation for him to employ his God-given gifts in full capacity and to bring in his wife and children to build what continues to be a family-owned company, rooted in faith, and a brand that is recognized and respected across the country and around the world as the leader in its field today.

If you look back in your own history, do you see someone whose vision and action impacted your origins story? Perhaps it was ancestors who boarded a boat from their home country with nothing but a dream. Or parents who looked at a green field and built barns in their minds years before the concrete was ever poured.

One of the greatest privileges of serving the dairy community as an editor of this publication for the past nine years has been sitting down with inspiring people to share their incredible stories of how they got to be where they are: ingenuity, perseverance and entrepreneurship. Each one could find a more comfortable and cushy line of work, but it’s passion and vision that inspire them to take action. Each and every day, they are doing more than building their businesses. Just like the Leavitts, they are building the lives they want for their families and building the legacies they want to leave behind.

Something happens when you surround yourself every day with visionary people, whether they are a 4-year-old child or the executive of a multi-site dairy. You start to think, act and dream a little more like them. Eventually, your own vision becomes clear and you see the path you’ve been on has paved the way for a renewed purpose.

For me, that path means this is my last column as a Progressive Dairy editor. A new road is under construction for me to serve the dairy community in a different way, through helping dairy business clients brand and market the products and services that represent their own visions, and developing online courses. No doubt, through this work we will cross paths again.

I’m so very grateful to Progressive Dairy – the ownership, the team, the contributors and, of course, our dairy farmer readers for allowing me to grow right here on these pages. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And if you wish to stay in touch, I welcome your connections through LinkedIn or email at

So I leave you with this, my friends:

Have faith beyond
what your eyes can see.
Be true to yourself
and how you are called to serve.
And act with expectation
that the best is yet to come.