National Young Farmers Institute
This week I had an opportunity to address the 35th National Young Farmer Educational Institute in Washington D.C. Nearly 500 were in attendance. I must be getting younger because some of the young farmers looked older than myself.

I also had a chance to address a bankers group at Purdue University, which always is a delight in my travels. And then I went to the Dodge Center, MN, for a Wells Fargo Producer Group. There were lots of questions about where we’re headed with this economy. Folks, I cannot make any solid predictions at this point. Stay tuned. I have to go back to the patient and take a pulse again.

Here are some perspectives from other speakers that may be of interest to you.

  • China may be a bigger competitor in agricultural product than South America. The reason is that they have more potential acreage in production and yield growth. South America is about equal to the U.S. with yield growth.

  • Mexico could potentially be our biggest export customer in agriculture because of its proximity. The key will be continual growth in their economy.

  • Six sniff tests that a company must pass before you should invest in them:

  • o
  • Know the company well and use their product.

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  • Make sure the company’s market demand is dominant in the marketplace.

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  • Check management goals to make sure they’re aligned with shareholder goals.

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  • See that management has an established track record.

  • o
  • Make sure the company has prudent accounting.

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  • Check to see if the company has a favorable competitive climate.

I’ll bet a number of people, as well as brokers, wished they had those six tests before investing in Enron. Maybe they should rename Enron Baseball Field to Bankruptcy Field.

Air Travel
So inconsistent in security. Private security is starting to get an attitude because the system will become feudalized.

Sports Perspective
The Hokies almost got Nebraska and other teams back in the Rose Bowl. The problem is that we have a Division II quarterback that’s in over his head!

Canada is calling me again. I will report back to you…………………..

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.

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