Thank you, dairy farmers, for opening your barns to us again this year.
Often times, when I am interacting with farmers or business people within the dairy industry, the topic of story ideas comes up.
Many ask, “How do you come up with enough stories to fill your paper?” Others say, “I bet you are starting to run low with story ideas.”
I politely say although there are issues we scramble to find ideas or interview times that suit farmers because of their busy schedule (harvest time, especially) many farmers afford us time to visit. They have been gracious enough to open their barn doors and let us walk in, visit and tell their story to the dairy community.
That has been critical to our success since the first issue of Dairy Star in February 1999; writing what is happening on your farm and from your perspective.
Whether your dairy is celebrating some kind of historical milestone, or if you are a young farmer who is renting his neighbor’s barn in hopes of a career of milking cows, or if you are implementing some new technology on your dairy in hopes of making things a little less labor intensive and being more efficient, we thank you.  
Of course, all news isn’t good news, and for these moments, we are overly appreciative of your time. There are farm tragedies – a barn fire, drought, storm damage or farm accident – that are excruciating for you to talk about because of the heartache, pain and frustration you are going through. But, you graciously allow us the time to explain what happened and what direction you are headed moving forward. Those stories pull at all of our hearts, and although many are painful, many readers can relate. This year, one of the most remarkable stories we published was one of a dairy farmer who fell into a manure pit and survived.
 Another enormous piece of the pie for published stories comes from the human interest sector of farming. Several that come to mind in 2021 include a wife who donated her kidney to her husband, a farmer who had his family operate the farm while he recovered from hip surgery, a family who purchased AED for the local school, a lady who dairy farms and grows and sells flowers, and a dairy that had the “The Bachelorette” shoot a scene at their farm.  
Those personal stories are engaging and interesting to our readers.
I also would like to express my gratitude for the individuals, young and old, who allowed us to put them in our Dairy Star features. Whether it be our columnists or features like Kids Corner, Women in Dairy, Dairy Profile, From Our Side of the Fence, Dairy’s Working Youth or the weather pages, your views or thoughts are interesting to read and offer a connection to so many readers. I have had so many fellow dairymen talk about their fondness of these features because of their personality and genuineness.
Making all the connections for these features and stories is our job, but we couldn’t do it without you, the dairy farmer.
For this, the staff at Dairy Star is most grateful.
Our staff wishes you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.