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BLOGS

Read online content from popular columnists including Ryan Dennis and Yevet Tenney, as well as comments from Progressive Dairy editor Karen Lee.

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The puck was two caps from teat dip drums joined together, but the black electrical tape that covered it lent it a feeling of authenticity. The sticks were sections of stiff plastic piping we tapped on cows’ thurls to head them towards the parlour.

When the last cow on either side of us had a milker on, my father and I squared off in the middle of the pit. We lowered our shoulders, bent our knees and planted our boots against the rubber mat that covered the floor.

The goals were the legs of the steps that lead out of the pit. Often there was trash talk. Then the puck would drop and our sticks would clash with such an intensity that it would send a shiver among the cows milking.

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Friday night I watched Superman the Movie. Superman sailed across the dark sky with the city glittering far below him. He swooped down when he saw a crime and, with precision, he solved the problem. I couldn’t help but wonder how he could solve all the problems around the world.

In the real world, there are crimes happening simultaneously and plots of intrigue brewing everywhere. Impossible! Yes, for Superman, but not for God.

God is omnipotent and omnipresent. In other words, God is all-powerful and all-present. He is infinitely aware of everything and has the power to reach out and stop the eruption of a volcano, turn the night into day and to cause mountains to become valleys.

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When my cousin Jade was born with pretty red locks to brunette parents, the first question asked was regarding the color of the milkman’s hair. It’s not an uncommon joke by any means, nor is it exclusive to farmers.

Nonetheless, I suspect most of the general population sees in their mind’s eye a clean-cut man in a white uniform leaving bottles of milk on the doorstep. The actual job of a milkman, however, is less glamorous.

Farmers always have an opinion of their milkmen – it is a relationship that is seldom ambiguous. A wise producer treats his milkmen well, knowing that when it comes down to it, the milkman has the power to swing the weights 100 pounds either way.

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It has become a nightly game in my farmhouse to “get the bugs.” My 2-year-old serves as the bug spotter while myself or my husband is the bug squasher.

In the game, my daughter points and exclaims, “Bug! Bug!” until we see the fly and go after it. She then usually lets us know whether or not we were successful – even though she’s not always accurate in her proclamation.

Many of you are probably dealing with a similar situation in your homes and worse yet out in the barnyard. With the mild winter experienced by many, entomologists are stating bug populations are expected to be higher this year than most.

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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the world is green again. Springtime is the perfect time to throw those barn doors open – but not just to make milking more pleasant.

While attending a presentation analyzing society’s changing perception of agriculture, I heard a producer ask, “What are ways to engage the public?”

With June Dairy Month just around the corner, now is the time to focus on some promotional efforts. Don’t just leave this task up to the Dairy Farmers of Canada and provincial milk organizations – their message, while very important, can only go so far.

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