Jan. 23 2012 11:32 AM

One hundred twenty-seven years strong and growing

Hoard's Dairyman 127th Birthday cakeWhen W.D. Hoard started Hoard's Dairyman as a supplement to the weekly Jefferson County Union newspaper on January 23, 1885, I doubt he would have imagined its potential growth, spread over a century and a quarter. While time has passed, the core values of the publication remain as steadfast as they did in 1885.

The first issue of Hoard's Dairyman was printed on newsprint and was a no-glitz piece with just text and no illustrations. Over the years, technology has added photographs, color printing, and even embossing to the magazine.

From the start, the content of the magazine has been directed toward dairy producers. . . informing readers about the latest technology, research, and trends. Over the years, Hoard's Dairyman has done just that. Here are a few examples.

Crop Production
Hoard's experiments with alfalfa in the Midwest in 1891 propelled it into a viable crop to be grown for dairy cows. Today, it is a leading forage-producing plant.

Youth Development
The magazine looks forward to the next generation of dairy enthusiasts. In 1909, the magazine dedicated one page per issue to boys and girls living on dairy farms. Providing information that would foster interest in our industry still continues on our "Young Dairymen" page.

Animal Heath and Care
Hoard's Dairyman stood behind tuberculosis eradication in 1917 which was not a popular viewpoint at the time. These efforts led to the U.S. being declared free of tuberculosis in 1940. Similar campaigns were undertaken in 1949 for brucellosis.

Cow Judging Contest
This annual contest began in 1930 and has enjoyed decades of positive reviews from readers. In the largest division in the contest, members of 4-H clubs and FFA chapters pit their skills against each other and the official judges to demonstrate quality dairy cattle evaluation skills. College students, families, and those on ag boards also participate in the contest which has had over 5.5 million entries in its history. The 2012 contest deadline is March 22, 2012.

Hoard's Dairyman Farm
The Hoard's Dairyman magazine holds close ties to the Hoard's Dairyman Farm which was established in 1899. Many topics covered in the pages of the "National Farm Magazine" are directly tied to the issues occurring on a working dairy operation. In 2003, the farm expanded the registered Guernsey herd and built a free stall barn and milking parlor in 2007. With the milk from the Hoard's Dairyman Farm being made into cheese, Jerseys were added in the fall of 2009.

Herd Management
From its experience in calf raising at the Hoard's Dairyman Farm in 1974, the magazine shared information with fellow producers about the benefits of raising calves in hutches. Today, more than one-third of calves in the U.S. are raised in hutches.

Hoard's Around the World
While Hoard's Dairyman is delivered to every English-speaking country in the world, we also produce a Spanish and a Japanese version to expose those readers to the most current technology and research.

Technology Blossoms
While W.D. Hoard believed his project would grow, I doubt that he could have imagined a searchable database of past issues (2005), a daily HD Notebook blog (2008), Youtube channel (2008), Facebook fans of over 5,000 (2009), 1,300 Twitter followers (2011), and free monthly webinars (2011).

The dedication of generations of Hoard's Dairyman staff has created a heritage unique to the publishing world. The reliable service and courageous leadership shown by the magazine's leaders have given the nation's dairy producers reasons to read each issue of Hoard's Dairyman with confidence.

Of course, none of this would be possible without you, our readers. Thank you for your readership. Happy Birthday Hoard's. Looking forward to the next milestone!