I am ending a long road trip that took me to Coeur d’Alene, ID; Bruning and Kearney, NE; Fargo, ND; Hutchinson, KS; and finally Columbia, MO. After over 6,000 air miles and 1,400 rental car miles cross-country, there are some interesting observations to be made.

  • In Idaho, many of the wheat producers were having their best year in a long time. The Wheat Growers Conference was the largest in years. My advice was to "stash the cash and profits and don’t spend it on toys."

  • In Bruning, NE, it’s amazing how the banks in the area support young and beginning farmer-rancher education. I spent time after the meeting with public leaders and university officials discussing the future of education. Nebraska, like many other states, is cutting programs because of budgets. It’s not only the football team that’s suffering.

  • In Kearney, 450 individuals attended a United Nebraska Bank-sponsored conference, with more than half of the audience under 35. I shared the podium with Congressman Osborne, the former Nebraska football coach. What a classy individual.

  • In Fargo, Farm Bureau membership is trending upward. That’s quite an accomplishment, despite farm number decreases.

  • Seven hundred miles south to Hutchinson, KS, it’s still dry. Traveling down Interstate 29 cross-country to Hutchinson finds the farms getting bigger with fewer farmhouses. After sharing the podium with Vince Lombardi, Jr., I journeyed on to Columbia, MO, to address 1,000 producers. This group shows that hope and enthusiasm are still alive and well in agriculture.

  • I guess I was right when picking Ohio State. Schedule, defense, and a good quarterback and kicker have taken them a long way.

  • The drunks are ruining after-game college football.

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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