The Gifts We Bring

The Christmas story is one we all know well. A little babe was born in a manger filled with hay, and a bright star guided shepherds and wise men from afar to bask in His glory. The tradition of gift giving at Christmastime started way back on that cold starry December evening with the wisemen…

On Changing Traditions and Trends

Thanksgiving marks a time when many families gather to give thanks. This year Thanksgiving is extra special for me because it will be the first time I will see my two oldest boys since they left for college in August. One of the traditions that usually happens with each Thanksgiving is a family dinner at…

On Predicting the Future

Milk margins reported through the USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage Program hit a record low in August 2021, falling 43 cents from July and 12 cents below the previous record set in May 2020 in the height of COVID. Although milk prices are about $4.10 higher than they were last May, significantly higher feed costs are…

Shining a Light on Farm Safety

As farmers, all too often we wear our injuries like badges of honor. “This scar is from the time I got caught in the gate,” “This is the bruise where the cow kicked me,” “This is where the ATV backed into me.” But as any soldier would tell you, badges of honor are often reminders…

Keeping Employees Engaged On and Off the Farm

Earlier this month, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics announced July’s unemployment rate at 5.4 percent, down a half percent from June and well below the record high unemployment levels experienced this time last year during the height of COVID. The Bureau also announced the average hourly earnings for all non-farm employees in June…

Living On the Margin

Someone once said, “Within the margin is where your opportunity lies.” Those of us in dairy know this all too well.  Dairy farm families must balance their income carefully against their expenses, and any slight change on either side of the equation can drastically impact their margin. The current year in which we are living…

What’s Your Why

Two years ago, I wrote a column in response to a question I received from a reporter on why I still believe in dairy. Since then, that column has gone viral online, with it coming up first in search engines if you search “reasons to believe in dairy.” I am not sure why it got…

A Farmer’s Journey with Mental Health

I have heard that we all have our personal journey with mental health as we walk through life’s ups and downs. Westmoreland County Dairy Farmer Chuck Carr shared his journey with mental health and wellness during the February Dairy Summit. Chuck has experienced his share of challenges, including a devastating barn fire in 2007 and…

The Beauty of a Plan

One of my favorite 1980s television series was “The A Team.” The colorful group of vigilantes and their amazing way of pulling things off within an inch of disaster always had me on the edge of my seat. One of the famous sayings that their leader Hannibal would often say is, “I love it when…

The Year After

In 1983, a movie came out that shocked America. It was called “The Day After,” and it depicted what happened on several family farms near nuclear missile silos in the Midwest after the United States and the Soviet Union launched a full- scale nuclear war against each other. I was only 10 years old at…