Recently I addressed the 51st annual Agricultural Bankers Convention in San Antonio, TX. This was my 26th consecutive year addressing this audience. However, one of the big benefits for me was listening to other speakers’ thoughts and perspectives. Here are some of the highlights.

‘Just the Facts’

  • 10 million Americans are vegetarians and another 20 million are thinking about becoming one.

  • 70 percent of Americans will pay extra for healthy food.

  • Demand for soy foods grew by 32% from 2000 to 2002.

  • There is a widespread chance of a drought one in every six years.

  • One out of every four years you can expect weather for excellent crop yields.

  • Between 2005 and 2010 there is a high probability of a major drought in the Midwest.

Perspectives

The following are five strategies for value added products:

  1. What is the market and marketing strategy?

  2. Where do you go to market with a good product?

  3. Where does your venture fit in the overall supply chain?

  4. Can it be identified and can it be tracked?

  5. What are the financial sensitivities to raising price?

If you ever get to San Antonio, do the riverboat tour and see the Alamo. This city had some strategic thinkers that knew how to develop a marketing strategy! After a restful Thanksgiving week, I’ll be on the road again, heading to Canada, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Tennessee. Maybe I’ll see some of you along the way!

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

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and 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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