This article was #9 in PDmag's Top 25 most-well read articles in 2010. Jump to the article here.
Summary: Leon Leavitt is the founder of Progressive Dairyman magazine. Last December, he advised dairy producers on five things they shouldn’t do without during the holidays: 1. faith, 2. prayer, 3. spouse and family, 4. friends, and 5. Building relationships with people “better than yourself.”
Because this article was so popular, we asked Leon a follow-up question:
Q. If you could add one more thing to this list, that dairymen shouldn't be without in 2011, what would it be?
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A. Maintain a tough attitude. At times it seems like there are scores of problems and much uncertainty that we face from day to day. Volatile milk prices, along with production costs beyond our control (feed, fuel, labor issues, health, taxes, regulations, etc.). Treat these adversities as opportunities for growth whether large or small. We can have the most competent consultants at our disposal and have made very careful and meticulous plans... but there comes a time when "you need to drop down, put your head into the harness, and PULL." When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
—Leon Leavitt, Emeritus Publisher, Progressive Dairyman magazine
We were also pleased that Leon's 5 Things had such a positive impact on our readers.
Check out the comment below for one example.
Click a link below to read other articles in the Top 25:
CityBoy cartoon Issue 18 2008: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_10
Students obtain “hands-on” experience through summer dairy program: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_11
Sorghum: An economical forage for dairy producers http://bit.ly/PDTop25_12
Running out of time: U.S. must become a global dairy supplier http://bit.ly/PDTop25_13
Should I exit the dairy industry? http://bit.ly/PDTop25_14
Crossbreeding study participants share observations, opinions: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_15
Every herd has metritis: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_16
World Dairy Expo video: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_17
5 Things I can't do without: Darin Dykstra: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_18
Let's agree on a few things about MPCs: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_19
Oregon State cows monitored 24-7: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_20
Brubakers find many benefits with methane digester: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_21
How to adjust rations to incorporate BMR corn silage: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_22
Time to reclaim animal well-being as our issue: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_23
3 open minutes with Doug Maddox and Gary Genske: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_24
3 open minutes with David Martosko of HumaneWatch: http://bit.ly/PDTop25_25
Leon Leavitt is the emeritus publisher of Progressive Dairyman. He recently returned from a church service mission to Chile. He shares what a dairyman shouldn’t be without this Christmas.
“Faith in God and in his Son Jesus Christ, for whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. If there were no Christ child, there would be no Christmas. The prospect of pursuing this life without Their help and assistance is incomprehensible. If we don’t have faith, nothing else matters. And it can’t be passive faith.”
“We need a desire to develop faith by some personal and family time in daily scripture reading and daily prayer. You can learn about God by studying what He said and continues to say. He has given us answers to life’s questions, and we can find them in scripture. But you have to couple reading with prayer. Prayer is two-way communication. It is asking and receiving between oneself and one’s Maker. He expects to hear from us – not just twice a year at Christmas and Easter. One of the easiest scripture verses to remember is ASK: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
3. Spouse and family
“These are our primary responsibilities, and blessings, as well. If we aren’t dairying for our family, what are we doing it for? Family is what it’s all about. We all have a sense of duty and obligation for those we love and care about the most. If we have faith and prayer, we will feel a duty and obligation to do what we do for family.”
“A dairyman needs another dependable dairyman as a friend. Someone who can say, ‘Yes, you can do it. You can make a difference. You can choose to be happy and productive.’ With low milk prices and high forage prices, sometimes producers wonder how they’ll make it through the day. Keep a positive attitude and have self-confidence. We all need someone who can help us through the pitfalls of life or who will just listen when you need an ear.”
5. People better than yourself
“Surround yourself with the best team of progressive professionals you can find and have faith in their competence. Build relationships of trust with your veterinarian, nutritionist, herdsman, milkers, calf raisers, milk plant fieldman, feed suppliers, milking equipment dealer, banker, accountant, lawyer, etc. This may involve selecting some ‘out of the box’.” PD
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