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Specialist to address local farmers

Dr. David Kohl, one of North America’s leading agricultural economists, will be in Drayton Apr. 1, a featured speaker at the annual farm show.

A professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia, Kohl will share his expertise when reviewing the megatrends of agriculture in the new economic realities.


Listeners will get a chance to learn about the issues affecting crop and livestock producers, economic updates for domestic, U.S. and global markets, alternative energy, and a glimpse ahead to the next 20 years.
It should make for an informative and valuable session for farmers and producers, say organizers.

“He’s so in tune with – he has the pulse of the agriculture industry and agribusiness industry and with what’s happening in the overall economy,” said Brian Little, national manager of RBC Agriculture and Agribusiness, which is sponsoring the speaking series.

At the Drayton fairgrounds, Kohl will share his thoughts on issues such as lenders using conservative lending practices, widening profitability gaps, crop and livestock markets, as well as domestic and global markets and the projected GDP growth for several countries around the globe in 2009. He will also touch upon long-term agricultural policies, including conservation and alternative energies, and offer farmers some ideas on how to best prepare for unstable times.

Kohl’s presentation will give farmers “a good picture of what he’s seeing across North America and globally because he has a fairly good idea of what’s happening globally with farmers and producers around the world so it gives them an idea of where they’re sitting,” said Annemarie Pedersen of Ad Farm, a marketing communications agency working with RBC.

Initially involved in field research when he began working with RBC two decades ago, Kohl has taken on more speaking engagements, travelling all over the world.

“We found that he was so well travelled and so knowledgeable that we wanted to make this information available to our clients, so we started this RBC AG speaking series in 1999; he’s probably spoken to about 20,000 producers and at 200 of our events in the last 10 years,” said Little, noting that Kohl has made appearances in Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and China.

Kohl’s target audience this Wednesday will include farmers, producers, growers, and others involved in the agribusiness and its value added sectors. Part of his presentation will focus on providing farmers with timely information, given the economic downturn.

“With the economic situation how it is his topic is a little bit more geared towards what farmers can do and what they’re looking at, seeing coming down the pipe as far as credit and different things like that,” said Pedersen.
Kohl will be at the fairgrounds in Drayton on Apr. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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