This next week I will be in Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska, with a quick jaunt to California. Approximately one-third of my students are spending spring break in the warm climate and I’m going to the Midwest. What’s wrong with this picture?!

Last week I was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the 22nd-annual Agricultural Education Seminar, and then in Hesston, KS. I am continually impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the Lancaster group. This area is the breadbasket of the East, without much farm government support. It’s amazing how many of the producers are diversified within agriculture, but take advantage of the population base through tourism, craft trades, and the sale of value-added products.

An economics speaker from the bank indicated consumer durable goods purchases and residential construction has kept the U.S. out of a major recession. These purchases are much higher than in a normal recovery period.

However, business investment has lagged from the normal business recovery cycle because of geo-political risk.

Household assets have declined only 12.5 percent, despite big declines in stock and other equity portfolios. This is because housing prices have inflated making up some of these losses.

Quotes From the Conferences

  • “The road to success is always under construction.”

  • “Focus on your successes and blessings; everyone else will find your thoughts.”

The Weather Channel

You know the weather back East is getting bad when you flip on The Weather Channel in Kansas and see the person who cuts my hair digging out of the snow!

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