It was a rainy day, which meant it was a perfect day to talk about agriculture.
More than 100 farmers, lenders, and educators attended the Farm Financial Seminar put on by the CVTC Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources programs. The event was held to explore management strategies needed to be successful given the current financial climate and how to be successful in the future.
Invited speaker, Dr. David M. Kohl, came to the event with a great sense of humor and lots of enthusiasm. For 25 years, David was a Professor of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management at Virginia Tech. He has traveled over 8 million miles throughout his career, conducting over 6,000 workshops for agricultural groups. David is one of the leaders in establishing guidelines for standardized reporting and analysis of agricultural producers’ financial information on a national and international basis.
“There are more opportunities in the agriculture arena in the next 10 years than there have been in the last 30 years,” David comments. “But that also means that there is more opportunity to fail. That means it will take an accelerated type of management to excel in that type of economy.” David talked about how the model of farming will change, through the use of energy and how demographics of the typical farm is changing. “70% of farms today will change hands between now and 2025. There are more women taking over, and the average age is much younger than ever before.”
Overall, David gave an honest and realistic view of what agriculture will look like in the future. “With the right business model and smart financial decisions, you can be very successful in this field. I want that for everyone.”
Mark Denk, instructor with the Agriscience program reflected on the event. “One of my students said it best when he said that the presentation hit a home run and those who didn’t attend, missed out. I hope this presentation gives producers the knowledge and vision to position their farm business for the future.”