Well, we’ve made it to 2002. It has been a great two weeks not having to fly. The best part is not going through security. The way I see it is that people are paying me for the hassle of flying. The seminars and speeches are the fun part.

Ten New Years resolutions to think about in energizing your business and personal are as follows:

  • Take your year-end financials, particularly your income statement, and determine your cost of production by enterprise.

  • Estimate your family living cost. Develop a monthly budget, then add 25%. National averages are between $40,000 and $48,000 annually.

  • Start an exercise program. Walking is fine. You’ll see how it increases your energy, and helps you mentally, physically and spiritually. Do it in the morning before the day’s activities consume you.

  • Invest 5-10% of net farm and non-farm income in a retirement program.

  • If your will has been developed, priority number one should be obvious with a power of attorney as well.

  • Go to a seminar or school – two to six hours each week of reading and networking keeps your business energized.

  • Surround yourself with positive people and experiences. Even taking a dog for a walk can be uplifting.

  • Hear the silence. The enjoyment of farming is the isolation from the hectic world.

  • Have a third party (for example, a lender or a consultant) look over your books and provide you with a guidepost.

  • Develop your marketing plan and stick to it. If you can’t, retain someone who can assist you.

Down on the Farm
Now my number two son is looking to upgrade his computer by buying a new one. It seems like I just bought the dang thing. The generation in high school now has more information at their fingertips then we had in our whole high school library.

Late Breaking News
I know that I have told you in the past that I share a suite with PPL Therapeutics. They created Dolly the lamb, and the 5 cloned piggies. This morning we heard a stir and went to their offices. They had just sent out a press release about more piggies and knock-out genes. Folks, I gotta tell you that these are thrilling times we live in. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to work next door to technology in the making.

Sports Perspective
Great bowl games. Oregon looks real tough!

For Nebraska to beat Miami? Lets summarize:

  • Run straight ahead and use your power game.

  • Attempt to block a punt.

  • Keep in close and wear them down in the fourth quarter.

  • Pressure Ken Dorsey and don’t give him any time at all.

  • Use your fans and keep them in the game!

We are looking for some snow here soon. But I should be back on the road next week and heading to Canada.

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

This online exclusive is brought to you by Soybean Digest