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


Our family’s history starts with a pond on top of a hill. It was first dug by my great-grandfather, Claire Dennis, as a watering hole for cattle. He lived and milked there for two years without electricity.

Because the milk carts, pulled by horses, would not make the climb, he had to haul his milk more than a kilometer and a half in metal cans every day.

Being the highest point in the county, there was no geographical pardon from the winter winds that tore over the hill, still notorious among hunters and neighbours.

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As harvest progresses, the visual evidence of this summer’s drought throughout eastern Canada will soon be left only to memory.

However, the effects of 2012’s hot, dry weather will likely be felt for a few years and by more than those who witnessed the withering plants first-hand.

Like those of you in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, I spent most of the summer praying for rain. I had watched as one shower that occurred shortly after planting made my soybeans sprout out of the ground, only to then see them sit there almost stagnant for weeks on end as the sun rose and set with not a rain cloud in sight.

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Like most of the world, I spent most of last month with my eyes on the Olympic games in London. I made a point to watch the sports I love and even spent some time watching those I rarely see or perhaps hadn’t seen before.

What struck me the most were the sports like gymnastic vaulting, diving or short distance track and field events where the athlete has about 30 seconds or less to give it their all.

For some, their one moment to shine was all of 6.2 seconds. The years of training, sacrifices, daily workouts and proper nutrition came down to just one single performance that resulted in victory for some and defeat for others.

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Not too many Sundays ago, a little girl came to church in her jeans and T-shirt. She got up in front of the congregation and said, “It is not a matter of how you dress or if you come to church or not – it’s what’s in your heart that makes the difference.” She sat down.

I was taken aback. She was right. It doesn’t matter to God how you dress. He loves you anyway, but there was something that didn’t sit well with me. It went against what I had been taught, but I was willing to consider her point of view. What did God really expect?

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Iceland is dominated by volcanoes and mountainous highlands at its center. Although picturesque, most of the surface is barren, the arable land occurring in pockets around the coast.

This is where the island’s 700 dairy farmers make their stand, sometimes in isolation. Although winters are relatively mild, the summers are cold and notably short with unpredictable cold snaps that can kill vegetation and destroy crops.

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