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Put the cows first

PD Editor Karen Lee Published on 21 February 2011

I’ve always enjoyed hearing from readers and therefore I was really excited to hear from our newest admirers after the release of Progressive Dairyman’s first Canadian issue in January.

People told us they were “impressed” with the magazine and that it held “valuable content.” Some of our advertisers told us they had already received phone calls inquiring about their products or services.



Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We would love for the dialog to continue. In my mind, if our publication isn’t meeting your needs, then it is our responsibility to improve.

So please, continue to let us know if the content is “valuable” or if there were something else you’d also like to see in the magazine.

I’m hoping you find this issue up to par as we address the topic of cow comfort. In my opinion, that should be the No. 1 priority on every dairy. If you take good care of the cows, they in turn should take good care of you.

I recall helping my family as they moved from one dairy to another in search of larger facilities and a larger land base away from a growing city.


It was a stressful time for everyone and on occasion it was mentioned: “Wouldn’t it be so much easier without the cows?”

Of course, the answer was, “Yes,” but then my family of dairy farmers would need to seek different professions because you can’t be a dairyman without cows.

Similarly, nothing else on the farm seems to matter without cow comfort. You can feed a cow the best ration in the world, but if it is uncomfortable standing at the feedbunk, she won’t stay to eat her entire share.

You can breed your cows to the best-matched bull, but if her climate isn’t right, the odds of conception are decreased.

Therefore, we’ve enlisted a few people to help you better understand cow comfort on your dairy. Click here to read why Curt Bossuyt analyzes the atmosphere of a barn from bedding, flooring, stall design, lighting, air quality and more to determine what needs to be done to keep your cows happy.

John Paul takes a deeper look into reusing separated dairy solids to create a soft bed for cows. Click here to learn more.


From there I urge you to keep turning the pages to learn about a newer advancement in A.I. and breeding, known as genomics. Calf and heifer raising rounds out the list of dairy topics in this issue.

As you build your stack of Progressive Dairyman magazines in your farm office or on your kitchen counter, you’ll also come to realize that each issue holds a few management-related articles, as well as some forage-based articles.

Unless you are the sole operator on your dairy, management topics apply to every farming system. Remember, it’s the people who, in turn, care for the cows, so take care of them too.

Dairy farms can also be forage farms. Finding ways to increase your forage yields is one way to boost overall dairy yields.

I expect these topics help you improve all the aspects of your farm. It is my hope that you will be able to apply the principles behind the examples of high-efficiency dairying discussed in this issue to your own farm.  PD

Karen Lee

Karen Lee
Progressive Dairyman magazine