Dr. David Kohl
David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. For 25 years, Kohl was Professor of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. He was on special leave with the Royal Bank of Canada working on advanced initiatives for two years, and also assisted in the launch of the successful entrepreneurship program at Cornell University. Kohl retired from teaching in 2003 and is Professor Emeritus in the AAEC Department at Virginia Tech.
Kohl has traveled over 7 million miles throughout his professional career! He has conducted more than 5,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups. He has published four books and over 1,000 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications. Kohl regularly writes for Ag Lender and Soybean Digest.
He has received 11 major teaching awards while teaching over 10,000 students, and 15 major Extension and Public Service awards from Virginia Tech, Cornell University, and state and national organizations. Kohl is a two-time recipient of the prestigious American Agricultural Economics Association’s Outstanding Teaching Award. Kohl is only one of five professors in the 90-year plus history of the Association to receive the award twice. He received the Governor’s award for his distinguished service to Virginia agriculture, the youngest recipient to receive this award.
Kohl has addressed the American Bankers Agricultural Conference for 30 consecutive years and has appeared before numerous state bankers’ schools and conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the world. He has also been one of the top-rated instructors at the LSU and Colorado Graduate Schools of Banking, and is Chancellor of Farm Credit University, which has trained over 700 lenders using an online and face-to-face educational approach.
As a facilitator of the United States Farm Financial Standards Task Force and member of the Canadian Agricultural Financial Standards Task Force, Dr. Kohl was one of the leaders in establishing guidelines for the standardized reporting and analysis of agricultural producers’ financial information on a national and international basis. Recently, a $2 million endowed Chair of Agribusiness Management and Finance was established at Virginia Tech in the name of Dr. Kohl. This was in honor of his long-term commitment to teaching, research, and extension, and is one of only four such Chairs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.
He is also a business coach and part owner of Homestead Creamery, a value-added dairy business in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
On a more personal note, Dave enjoys playing basketball and likes most sports, farms, dogs, and covered bridges; he dislikes lazy students, administrative bureaucracies, and paperwork!
Dr. David Kohl's Programs
Dr. Kohl will provide groups with cutting-edge information in a dynamic format based upon his many years of academic research and working with commercial banks, ag lenders and producers throughout the world. Dr. Kohl’s personal involvement with agriculture and interaction with key industry players provide a unique perspective into the future trends of the agricultural industry and economy.
The following are a sampling of the topics that he can bring to your group, ranging from a one-hour talk to one to three-day seminars. Talks can be customized to meet your group’s needs.
Appropriate for All Agricultural Audiences
(Megatrends in Agriculture and Global Economics)
Dr. Kohl’s extensive travel and work experiences with a wide range of groups including ag producers, agribusinesses, lenders and corporate board members give him a unique pulse on trends that will impact the landscape of agriculture. Whether it is changing consumer trends, dietary trends, technology and productivity, global issues, international trade or the transition from baby boomers to millennials and generation Z, or the urbanization of global populations, this session is designed to link the global perspectives down to the business level. There is an old saying, “think globally, but act locally” which is critical for the proactive business person attempting to gain a strategic advantage.
Positioning for Success in Cyclical Economics
Previous generations were required to manage volatility, yet global and domestic economic forces have moved the bar to volatility in the extremes. This will create more opportunity in the decade ahead than the past half-century; however, if not managed properly, it can create a high probability for failure. Join this energizing session and take a walk around economic trends followed by their implications to your organization, business, and personal endeavors. Regardless of the cycle, if managed well and proactively, then you will be on the positive end of the profit spectrum. Be sure to attend this information-packed, high energy session presented by Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech.
Taking Care of Business
The economic reset in agriculture is placing a premium on those that are taking care of business. This session is designed to contrast the best management characteristics of the top 40% of profitability compared to the bottom 30% of producers. Through Dr. Kohl’s lifelong experiences from academics to interaction with lenders, producers, agribusiness owners and, policymakers, this straightforward session identifies the financial management and risk management factors that place the business in the upper echelon of profits and sustainability. Business owners and lenders will often use the financial benchmarks and best management practices as a guide in business and lending decisions whether is a startup business or one in growth or transition. Come to energize your business thinking with some practical tips and techniques that stand the test of time.
Agricultural Update and the Road Ahead
Dr. Dave provides key viewpoints from his travels on the road throughout the U.S. and globally. He will share his knowledge of global economic trends and the state of the U.S. economy. This session is designed for groups and individuals to critically think about how events around the world and in the U.S. are impacting their business’ bottom lines and the future of the industry.
On the road ahead, the good doctor will draw upon his decades of experience as an educator and business person to present common financial and business practices that will proactively position your business or customer regardless of the economic cycle. This session is very versatile for a wide range of groups including lenders, producers, agribusiness owners and, even students, with nuggets for each regardless of age, size of business, background or experience.
Positioning for Success in the Economic Reset
Now into the sixth year of the agricultural economic reset, varying degrees of financial stress are emerging in many agricultural sectors. What is around the corner and down the road concerning the global and domestic economy, land values, cash rents, and the overall bottom line? This session will examine both the short run and long-run economic and financial picture. What are the adjustments producers and lenders must make to position for success? A new look at burn rate, not only on working capital but also on core land equity, will be provided along with trends that will impact the industry now and by 2030. Come with your questions to this high energy session that will get you prepared for one of the most critical periods in agriculture.
The megatrends/global economics presentations above are continuously updated and will be customized for your group.
The State of Agriculture & Ag Lending
Now into the sixth year of the agricultural economic reset, varying degrees of financial stress are emerging in many agricultural sectors. The topics of discussion for lenders, loan review committees and board members focus on which customers to refinance or restructure as well as how to help those customers that need to grow and capitalize on the economic environment.
This session will provide a view of the state of agriculture and new emerging trends that will impact your customers’ balance sheets and income statements, and the overall portfolio.
A special emphasis will be placed on offensive and defensive strategies on working capital burn rates and core equity burn rates which can influence the resilience and agility of the customer. Discussion of a customer’s one-page recovery plan along with key financial and non-financial metrics of customer quadrants will be presented. Dr. Kohl will end the session with a question and answer period of some of the most commonly asked questions to engage the audience.
Connecting the Dots
The agricultural reset appears to be elongated with uncertainty around every corner and concern of when it will end. A domestic and global overview will provide perspective concerning the factors and transformative trends influencing customers’ financials and lenders’ portfolios. There will be a discussion on credit risk and what is an acceptable burn rate on working capital and core equity. Dr. Kohl will connect these dots to make sense of the many factors affecting ag lending today. Get ready for an engaging session with questions and answers to conclude the session.
Credit Risk 2018-2019: Answers to Critical Questions
Managing agricultural credit risk and opportunities requires practices that stand the test of time regardless of the economic cycle. What are the top credit risks lenders are seeing around the corner given today’s lending environment? How can lenders determine which agricultural borrowers will be sound credits and those that offer an opportunity for growth, versus those that will add risk to the portfolio? Find out the characteristics of successful agricultural lenders as well. You won’t want to miss this informative session.
Credit Training- 1-2 Day School: The Latest and Greatest Financial and Credit Analysis Topics
This is specifically designed for ag lenders who want to sharpen their skill base concerning ag lending and can be customized for beginner to experienced lenders. This session has been developed by one of the leading experts in the area of agricultural credit. It is specifically designed for current times and the challenges facing agriculture and ag lending. Dr. Dave Kohl, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, has been conducting training for over thirty years in the area of agricultural finance. As a facilitator of the United States Farm Financial Standards Taskforce, he was instrumental in the development of key financial standards and methods in analyzing agricultural financial statements
The principles and techniques of credit analysis are evolving as economic cycles and the structure of agriculture creates different areas for success. The macroeconomic factors will kick-off the presentation followed by thoughts and perspectives on financial and credit analysis as well as the risks in agricultural lending.
Next, there will be a discussion on critical data points in financial benchmarking along the economic cycle spectrum, including the characteristics of the 40% of proactive producers who thrive versus the bottom 30% of producers who struggle.
The latest and greatest concerning the importance of a balanced approach to agricultural lending including burn rate perspectives on working capital, core equity and factors that can impact these important variables will be presented.
There will be a side-by-side financial dashboard included that lenders can utilize while working with customers along with a ”Sixth C” scorecard that can assist in objectivity while analyzing the customer’s management habits. In seeking balance in the lending equation, the ten commandments of the good, bad, and ugly character traits, or the soft side of lending, will be illustrated.
Of course, the one-page customer driven recovery or financial plan will be discussed along with tips and techniques for identifying and working with stressed credits. As well as the Six C’s of Lending that can effectively position your institution for the next decade of ag lending.
Dr. Kohl will use case studies to help illustrate these points and bring these concepts to life.
Dr. Kohl has addressed farm and ranch audiences approximately 75 times per year for the past quarter of a Century. Most presentations range from one to three hours in length. Special customized sessions of one or two days can be presented on demand. Talks are designed to provide a big picture overview of the economic and business management techniques that can be used in business, family, and personal lives. Historically, participants ranging from 8 to 90 years of age have found this information useful, energizing, and entertaining.
Agricultural Update and the Road Ahead
Dr. Dave provides key viewpoints from his travels on the road throughout the United States and globally. He will share his knowledge of global economic trends and the state of the U.S. economy. This session is designed for groups and individuals to critically think about how events around the world and in the United States are impacting their business’ bottom lines and the future of the industry.
On the road ahead, the good doctor will draw upon his decades of experience as an educator and business person to present common financial and business practices that will proactively position your business or customer regardless of the economic cycle. This session is very versatile for a wide range of groups including lenders, producers, agribusiness owners, and even students, with nuggets for each regardless of age, size of business, background or experience.
Positioning for Success in the Economic Reset
Now into the sixth year of the agricultural economic reset, varying degrees of financial stress are emerging in many agricultural sectors. What is around the corner and down the road concerning the global and domestic economy, land values, cash rents, and the overall bottom line? This session will examine both the short run and long run economic and financial picture. What are the adjustments producers and lenders must make to position for success? A new look at burn rate, not only on working capital, but also on core land equity, will be provided along with trends that will impact the industry now and by 2030. Come with your questions to this high energy session that will get you prepared for one of the most critical periods in agriculture.
Business Planning Lite
This program is a practical high energy program that is designed to motivate and engage agricultural businesses to the task of business planning, regardless of the business size, enterprise or tenure. Participants will be introduced to the process and importance of goal setting for the business, family, and even personal life in the short term and long term. Next, emphasis will be placed on cash flow planning, scenario planning, breakeven analysis, and cost of production. These all can be effective tools in managing and monitoring the business. A focus will be placed on the business and personal balance sheets and some of the key ratios and metrics will be covered that can be placed on your financial dashboard.
Along the way, Dr. Kohl will cover blunders, roadblocks, tips and techniques based upon decades as an educator and business person who has walked with many business owners around the globe.
Transition Management from A-Z
Farm business transition management is one of the key challenges for producers, agribusinesses, and lenders as demographics and trends are changing the shape of agriculture. Come to listen to some of the latest megatrends that will impact transition management in the decade to come. Then, listen to some of the time-tested golden rules of transition management that can get one started, engaged and following through on this important process. Don’t miss this important session.
Young Producer Theme
Young Farmer/Rancher Primer
This program is specifically tailored to young farmers and ranchers who are considering entering into an ag business or are in the early tenure of business. This high energy session will examine the ten good reasons to start farming and ranching today and the trends that they can capitalize on regardless of size, enterprise, or tenure in the business.
The next part of the program will focus on the best practices, tips, and techniques that will be necessary to have a profitable and sustainable business. These topics will range from goal setting to business and personal finance as well as time management and much more as young people develop their plan for business and life.
Ag Business Themes
Rules of the Road
In Dr. Kohl’s decades of travel and working with a wide range of groups from academics and producers, to policy makers, agribusiness owners and lenders, he has compiled a number of best and worst management practices. This is a highly engaging session of some of the golden rules for business owners and life in general. Specifics concerning business and personal finance, time management, goal setting, investing and others will be given. Some favorite quotes will be embellished upon that will be take home “got ya’s” that can be passed down through the generations. Come listen to the Virginia Tech academic Hall of Famer who has taught over 10,000 students, traveled more than 9 million air miles, engaged in over 6,000 sessions and written over 2,000 articles present some of his lifelong enumerated golden nuggets.
Managing Thru the Cycles
This is a small business owners’ seminar designed to present small business owners with strategies and principles that will help them to succeed in this ever-changing economic environment. The small business environment will create more business opportunities in the next decade than in the past thirty years. However, it will require business strategies and principles that withstand the test of time regardless of the economic paradigms. What are the economic indicators that can provide insight concerning the business climate? Where are interest rates going? What will be the impact of domestic and global economic trends in an environment where one must think globally but cut through the information noise and act locally? Come listen to the ten key business principles that can set your business on the right track to capitalize on future opportunities.
The Road Ahead
From the two-time national teacher of the year, Dr. Kohl will tell why young people should consider the industry of agriculture. Along the way, he will provide tips, techniques, and takeaways ranging from education, technology, and workplace skills to finance and investing for young people who want to better themselves. Whether one is considering agriculture or another endeavor in life, these proactive down-to-earth viewpoints can be of value to any parent, mentor, or student seeking guidance on the road ahead.
Breakout or Shorter Sessions:
Top Twelve Practices Observed of Successful Producers
In this session, Dr. Kohl will cover the basics of operating your business effectively. He will cover the practices he has observed successful producers. Working capital, cost of production, character and family living are just a few topics that Dr. Kohl will discuss in this session. Producers will take home many tips on managing their operations.
Ten Good Reasons to Start Farming/Ranching Today
Dr. Kohl will give his optimistic views on why now is the right time to start farming or ranching and the dynamics of today’s farms. Find out why and what you have to do to position yourself for success.
Ten Reasons to be Optimistic About Agriculture
This is a theme-based presentation that is ideal for young producers, youth, and those with an interest in agriculture. Dr. Kohl will draw from his travels and experiences interacting with highly motivational individuals in the agricultural and business community to explore the tremendous opportunities available in agriculture in the future.
Financial & Management Planning for Young Producers
In this session, Dr. Kohl will cover the basics of operating your business effectively. He will focus on quick reads on the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flows. He will also cover the golden rules of managing your operation in these turbulent times. Come find out the business success formula plus many more guidelines that can be used in managing your farming operation.
Transition Management from A-Z
Farm business transition management is one of the key challenges for producers, agribusinesses and lenders as demographics and trends are changing the shape of agriculture. Come listen to some of the latest mega trends that will impact transition management in the decade to come. Then, listen to some of the time tested golden rules of transition management that can get one started, engaged and following through on this important process. Don’t miss this important session.
Growth and Evolution of Your Business
There are many financial and management pitfalls that can occur when growing a business. Growth is the number one reason why businesses fail. The rules of business growth and evolution are practices that have weathered the test of time. Learn about how to be prepared to grow and evolve your business successfully. This presentation is ideal for business persons who are lifelong learners.
Obtaining Credit in Challenging Times
Dr. Kohl will walk you through the key items needed to seek financing for your business. You will find out what to look for in a lender and what the lender is looking for in potential borrowers. Are you prepared? Dr. Kohl will also touch on business planning. He will cover a series of questions to get producers geared towards starting or completing business plans for their operations. Dr. Kohl will discuss how to prioritize strategies, actions, plans, responsibilities, and timelines to enhance your business planning.
Dr. Kohl’s personal experience with the dairy industry and involvement with a creamery provide practical and innovative information for this presentation. Participants will find out the ten characteristics of a CFO dairy producer. Kohl will present a dashboard scorecard checkup featuring ratios that producers need to know how to calculate on their operations, along with a financial and benchmarking worksheet. Proactive turnaround tools and tips will also be featured.