Like so many other expected events, it is amazing how it can still sneak up on us.

Somewhere around the end of August or early September, my husband begins talking about getting ready for winter. He usually has a long list of things he wants to get done, from fixing something on a building to trenching in a water line.

Some of the items on his list are things he didn’t get to over summer, and if they don’t get done before winter sets in, they’ll be left to wait until the spring thaw.

Others are more immediate, like winterizing the calf barn, and must be done sooner than later. I’m hoping that by the time you read this, our list is mostly crossed off, and so is yours.

With winter preparations done, now is a good time to think through how the season will affect the animals on your farm. This issue has a couple of articles on calf management in cold weather. Tom Palen discusses calves’ changing nutritional needs and how fine-tuning your feeding program can keep these young animals on track for good health (click here to read the article). From environment to routines, I outline Dr. Noah Litherland’s 10 tips for raising calves in cold weather, click here to view the article.


Calves are not the only animals susceptible to the cold. Changes also need to be considered for the milking herd, particularly when it comes to teat care. Read Keith Engel’s five secrets to keeping teats healthy in winter, click here to read.

While we welcome in Old Man Winter, now is also the time of year when Progressive Dairyman does its annual salute to women in dairying.

We certainly recognize that women do great work all year long, and I hope our other 11 issues this year reflect the important work both dairymen and dairywomen do; however, we feel it is important to take a moment to shine a spotlight on women and particularly address topics that may be more important to them.

In this issue, we showcase the Advancing Women Conference (click here to read). This new event for women in agriculture had its debut in Calgary this past spring. The success of the event prompted organizers to not only hold the event again next year but to also include a fall event in eastern Canada.

One of the speakers from the 2014 event, Karen MacNeill, was kind enough to share highlights from her presentation in an article, click here to read.

She discusses the epic battle of achieving work-life balance, how to identify stress and ways to renew energy. This article would also be a beneficial read for hard-working men.

To all men and women who have had a busy few months preparing for winter, I wish you a wonderful season ahead.  PD

Karen Lee
  • Karen Lee
  • Editor
  • Progressive Dairyman magazine