We are in the midst of dormant time on the farm. While the challenges of cold days, ice and snow may add to our warm weather routine, the fields are resting, which frees up time for other aspects of our business. Industry meetings are in full motion, and we encourage you to stop by our booth and introduce yourself at the Progressive Dairy Operators Triennial Dairy Symposium or the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, to name a few of the events you’ll find Progressive Dairy staff at in the next several weeks.

Coyne katie
Editor / Progressive Dairy – Canada
Coyne also owns and operates Mill Wheel Dairy Show Clinics. She can be reached by email.

This may also be a good time to check out the AgProud website, home to Progressive Dairy – Canada and several other publications, all related to agriculture in North America. You may find an article you missed, some tips from one of our many contributors or advertising for something that wasn’t on your radar just a few months ago. While you’re on agproud.com, be sure to make sure your subscription is renewed and your newsletter information is current – you don’t want to miss the latest news in our ever-changing industry.

As we wait another month or two for winter to melt away, this may be a good time to take stock of yearly goals and ideas. So often people try to do this around Christmas and New Year’s Day when everything is chaotic. Personally, I like to take the slow days and long hours of darkness in January to review the past 365 days and make a plan for the next 12 months. As you look back, you may be surprised at what a difference a year makes. As you look forward, you may be surprised at all you can accomplish in a year if it is what you truly want.

As we know, there are a certain number of non-variables on a dairy farm. We know that cows will be milked, calves will be fed, manure will be managed, crops will be planted, hay will be harvested, silage will be made – and next winter, we will start the cycle all over again.

It is the variables that may add some excitement to your upcoming year. As I check in with friends, it is exciting to see who has opened a storefront creamery on their farm, who has added a new calf barn and who is building a rotary parlour as they expand so family members can return to the farm. While you may think these projects are more than you can imagine as you look at the year ahead, there are smaller ideas to consider, such as simply tweaking your breeding program to add beef-on-dairy genetics, increasing milkfat content through genetics or shifting goals to breed a group of show heifers from an elite dam. Large changes or small, a year from now you'll be able to measure the difference a year makes.


On these pages you’ll find a new collaboration, the first of its kind, between the University of Florida and the University of Guelph communications departments that will be connecting dairy students across borders. One year ago, the Zeldenrijk family had just begun construction of a new on-farm creamery and now, they’re making tasty cheese – what a difference a year makes!

When I attended the Young Dairy Leaders Institute several years ago, we were challenged by one of the speakers to say our goals out loud. I’ve worked to follow that practice, and with that, I’m sharing my yearly goal with all of you. I’m going to work on a project near and dear to my heart that involves showing and judging cattle. Be sure to check back next year to see what a difference a year makes.