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Time to be thankful

PD Editor Karen Lee Published on 10 October 2013

Thanksgiving: A time when we gather with family and friends to give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives.

I recently met one Ontario farm couple that has a lot to be thankful for this year. Even though they suffered a terrible fire on their dairy in July, in which more than 100 animals were lost, Clarence and Wendy Markus are thankful no person was hurt and the animals did not suffer long.

From the ruins at Markvale Holsteins came an unexpected outpouring of support from family, friends, neighbours and members of the agricultural community.

When I talked with them at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show last month, they expressed a number of times how thankful they are to have such wonderful people in their lives.

“We have been blessed,” Clarence said. “We have gained so much more than we lost.”

That support is one of the many reasons I am thankful to be involved in the agriculture industry. If you think about it, every producer is competing with the next for market share, yet the stories abound in regards to farmer helping farmer.

What Paul Harvey mentioned in his poem, “So God Made a Farmer,” 35 years ago still rings true today:

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbour’s place. So God made a farmer.

While much of Harvey’s speech continues to resonate deep within farmers, I am thankful certain aspects of the industry have changed since he read the speech in 1978.

As a woman, I have greater opportunities to pursue a career in the agriculture industry. Today, I am honoured to deliver to you our first-ever women in dairy issue, which highlights several outstanding women in the Canadian dairy industry.

Just as Martina Pfister mentions in the roundtable article, (click here to read) I too am thankful for the trailblazers – those women who were not afraid to take on roles in a male-dominated field, as well as the men who showed them respect and acknowledged their capabilities.

In the same article, you’ll also hear from Michelle Carson and Annamarie Murray as the three women discuss what it means to be a woman in today’s dairy industry.

Also in this issue, you will meet Jill Hoeppner (click here to view the article) and Rose Keunen, (click here to read the article) two women who didn’t let gender stand in their way of holding key roles on their dairy farms, and Emma Caldwell, a young artist bringing agriculture to life in a bold and brilliant way. Click here to read the article.

This season I am also thankful for you, our reader. In only our third year, this publication has gained significant traction in the Canadian dairy industry, and we couldn’t have done it without you.



Thank you for giving us a chance, for reading the articles, for contacting the advertisers, for telling your friends and neighbours, and for letting us become a part of your dairy operation.

If you don’t mind, we would like to know more about you. In the centre of this issue, you will find a survey form. We would appreciate it if you could take a moment to fill it out and return it to us.

Click here to fill out the survey online.

This information is used to help us deliver content that best fits our reader profile. By learning more about you, we can better serve your needs.

Thank you and have a Happy Thanksgiving.  PD

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Karen Lee
Progressive Dairyman magazine