Ah July, it's a heckuva month! Smack dab in the middle of summer. The all-star break is right around the corner, and like so many other events, baseball's big show is in Chicago this year. This is the season of warm nights, bike rides, barbecues, and summer office hours. And for those of us who live in the chilly climes, it's welcome relief.

July is the middle of summer, and it's also the month when the regular monthly issue of Dairy Foods is pre-empted by our Buyer's Guide & SourceBook. It's a special product, and one that we at the magazine are very proud of. It's a great guide to your suppliers and our advertisers. In fact it's one of the best reference sources for everything the dairy processor needs for running his or her business.

We've made a few changes to the guide in recent years, and we are pretty happy with how they've worked out. This year's book won't be a lot different from last year's. We have gotten rid of the year designation as part of the name, since this issue really has a 12-month shelf life that spans two halves of two different calendar years. We now simply call it an annual.

We like the look, so we stuck with our plan to merely pick a new, bright color each year. Again, we hope the eye-catching cover makes it easy to find on your bookshelf or desktop.

In addition to the all-important listings of suppliers and organizations, we've brought back two special features in this issue. Dairy Market Trends celebrates its second anniversary and we have pages of market data and analyses on milk, ice cream, cheese and cultured dairy products. Additionally, the Buyer's Guide and SourceBook once again features brief profiles of the four purchasing groups which serve the dairy industry.

And last but not least, there are the listings. The set-up hasn't changed much. Go to the Index of Products on p. 26 to find out how to use the Supplier Guide to find a manufacturer of ice cream equipment or a supplier of cultures. The Supplier Index, which starts on p. 81 is our industry "yellow pages" featuring an alphabetical listing of suppliers of goods and services.

Most of the features of our Annual Buyer's Guide and SourceBook will be archived as searchable databases on our website at www.dairyfoods.com. In addition, you can search our article archives by subject or company, visit Dairy Market Trends for new market data, find out about the latest dairy products, and get weekly news updates.

The cover is yellow this year, which also makes me think of summer--maybe its lemonade--but the Annual Buyer's Guide & SourceBook is really a product for all seasons. So use it throughout the year, and look for a new one next year after the breezes soften once again and fireflies begin to decorate the evening air.