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Lead, Follow, Or get out of the way!!!

When I was a kid, my father, who at the time was running type classification and breed improvement for Holstein Canada, had a plaque on the wall that read “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” by Thomas Pain.  That is the philosophy that my father has lived his life by and has instilled in his children, It pretty much sums up everything we are doing her at the Bullvine.


There is no question that, when you take a leadership position in anything, you open yourself up to extra scrutiny.  That is why you may have noticed that other dairy magazines get so afraid of offending people that they become paralyzed by politics.

I can understand their concerns.  There is no question that putting your comments and thoughts out there, opens you up to disapproval and lack of support.  Over the course of the last nine months we have been the target of criticism.  Many have said to me, “man you must have one thick skin.”  And yes, here at the Bullvine, we do, either that or we are really bullheaded.  But it’s not because we don’t care.  Rather it is because we feel that there is a real need for such things to be said.  We are willing to take that condemnation, knowing that in the end the industry as a whole is better because people are talking about the key issues that we all face.

In my opinion, in order to lead, you need to tell the truth and build the coalitions required to get communities moving forward.  If no one is leading the discussion about the tough subjects that face the industry, how are we going to progress?

A vacuum cripples the industry.  That is why we create things like the Bullvine Performance Index (Read more – Top BPI Heifers From Around The World) or talk about the management of organizations like Select Sires or Semex (Read more – Select Sires vs. Semex – A Contrast In Cooperatives), because no industry can progress in a vacuum.


Fortunately the response we have received from many breeders has been outstanding.  In just nine, months we have developed the second largest digital readership in the world.  The growth rate and the response are far beyond what we could ever have expected.

What started out as one person thinking they had something to say, has developed into a megaphone for breeders around the world.  The number of breeders who tell us that, “Hey that is exactly what I have been saying for years.  Finally someone is speaking up about it”.

I am sure many people think that most of the stuff we talk about comes out of some weird place in my head.  Actually it’s many heads. On any given day I will have 15 to 20 different chats on Facebook with breeders from around the world.  The conversations I have had with these breeders are dynamic and inspire many of our most popular articles.

Get of the way

While those expressions of appreciation for what we do by far outweigh the negative, there have been those who seek to quiet or control us.  They try this, because, in the past, they have been successful in squashing others who expressed their opinions.  What they are now learning is that there is no stopping us.  Threats of legal action, private slander, and public snubbing have no effect.

We are not here to appease the powers that be.  We are here to give those that have not been able to have a voice, an opportunity to speak freely.  The interactive comments and conversations we share with breeders on Facebook and on our own website are exactly why we are not going away.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There is no question that taking a leadership position has challenges.  It also has it rewards.  The numbers of amazing breeders we have met in the past nine months has been outstanding.  It’s these great breeders and the other followers of our content that drive us every day to do better.  For those who look to quiet us, all we can say is, “…… get out of the way”.

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