As we wrap up another year, I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the highlights from 2023 and the activities that I can’t wait to put on my calendar in 2024.

Devaney kimmi
Editor and Podcast Host / Progressive Dairy

Travel is always a highlight for me. As the daughter of a retired flight attendant, a love for travel is in my blood. I also love a good road trip and any excuse to explore a new destination.

Speaking of travel, one of the things I love most about my job at Progressive Dairy (aside from hosting our podcast) is that I get to visit many dairy producers on their farms each year. I’m excited to share one of those trips with you in our cover story.

Earlier this year, I took a scenic road trip from Idaho through the snow-capped mountains to visit three dairies in Montana. It was a gorgeous drive. I met with dairy producers Doug Kamerman, Shane Leep and Dave Lewis to learn how they prepare for some of the harsh winter conditions they regularly see in Montana. All three built new dairy facilities in 2007 and 2008 that are very different from one another, and their winter preparations are just as diverse as their facilities. Leep combines a traditional freestall barn with open lots and open-sided sheds, while just 30 minutes away, closer to Bozeman, Kamerman’s facilities are very buttoned up since the weather is different. Head further west, south of Missoula, and Lewis’ operation also looks very different due to the milder climate in the Bitterroot Valley.

Read the article Building dairy facilities to withstand the cold Montana winters to learn more about how they each built their dairy facilities for their respective microclimate and how they minimize cold stress when temperatures drop. Kamerman, Leep and Lewis also share some of the greatest challenges of dairying in Montana, along with what they enjoy most and least.


Since we are only a few weeks away from 2024, this is about the time when planners like me like to start mapping out the coming year and planning new adventures. In case you haven’t started thinking about the new year yet, or you are a little stuck trying to think through what you want to add to your calendar, here are the questions I ask myself as I begin brainstorming ideas for the next 1.

  1. What are some of the things I want to do this year?
  2. How do I want to grow my skillset?
  3. Who do I want to connect with and/or get to know better?
  4. How can the coming year set me up for success in the future?
  5. What went well this year that I want to continue?
  6. What did not go well that I want to change?

Think through your own answers to these questions. This will help to identify which new skills you most want to spend time developing this year, what new activities or adventures you want to explore, and what you can do to make your life even more fulfilling. The results may be small things in your daily life, an online class to learn a new skill, a new social activity or something much bigger in scope. There are no wrong answers.

If you are in college, a summer internship may be on your radar as you look toward the new year. Gaining real-world experience that builds on your classroom learning is invaluable and does so much to set students up for success in their future careers. Speaking of internships, if you are a college student studying communications, come work with us for the summer! And if you know a communications student, be sure to let them know about this. Our summer editorial internships are based at our office in Jerome, Idaho, and will help you to improve your writing, get a glimpse into the world of dairy journalism and provide opportunities to explore Idaho. If you are interested in applying, visit our website for all the details. Applications are due by Dec. 31.

What new adventures will you embark on in 2024?