This past week I spoke at the National Institute on Cooperative Education in Chicago. This is a super conference with a well-designed program. However, a storm cloud on the horizon is that they are going to eliminate the youth program because of cooperative consolidation and poor economic times. This should be reconsidered because our youth are our future!

My second stop was at Lake Barkley in Kentucky. This is where a cooperative, Jackson Purchase Farm Credit, is investing into its future by holding a young farmers educational conference.

I asked the young producers and their spouses what they look for in an agrilender. You may want to compare this to your own personal criteria.

  • Confidentiality, honesty, and ethics were tops on their list along with competitive rates.
  • A lender with knowledge of the industry and understanding of their business was a priority.
  • A well-staffed institution with good employees at all levels was a strong consideration.
  • In these stressed economic times, young producers are going to be observing the ability of the lender to be a stable, dependable source of credit that can be objective when necessary.
  • With Enron and WorldCom creating doubt in financials, the financial position of the lending institution was a critical factor in the selection process.
  • Finally, information requirements and good table manners (availability, being amenable and having a good attitude) along with being very polite are a must.

Sports View

Barry Bonds’ 600 homers don’t seem possible. All the records seem tainted because of the smaller parks, steroids and poor pitching.

Boy is it time to bring on the 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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