Not so long ago, families operated relatively small farms, and a farm of many hundreds of acres was considered a large operation. Today, an ag producer has to be much larger as the economies of scale dictate his or her standard of living; it’s not uncommon to encounter farmers working thousands of acres. The level of sophistication to keep pace has escalated dramatically.
But farming like this also demands smarts. Lots of smarts. Today’s producer is an economist, a broker, a banker, a transportation company and a very, very busy professional. Staying on top of the latest trends and innovations will ensure that he or she is able to keep pace with the rapid change facing the life of the 21st century farmer. At one time, attending conferences and seminars was viewed as a luxury or a nice to-do kind of thing. Not anymore. Professional development is the only way a farmer can keep a finger on the pulse of this dynamic industry and not neglect their business.
South Central College, the most respected name in Agricultural education in southern Minnesota, is embarking on a program to address the needs of the modern ag producer. Taking their cues from other top-flight national conferences, SCC will be hosting its tenth annual Agricultural Symposium on January 30, 2018.
Titled “New Tools for New Rules”, the conference will address highly relevant topics facing the modern producer.
And unlike other professional development seminars where the event’s profits go to the promoter, all net proceeds from New Tools will benefit student scholarships and agricultural programs at South Central College as well as the college’s non-profit Foundation. This will provide resources for ag-related scholarships, purchase state-of-the-art lab and instructional equipment, and more.
Presenting Sponsor: Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council
Gold Sponsors: Christensen Farms, CHS, Compeer, Crystal Valley Coop
David Kohl, Ph.D.
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. Kohl is Professor Emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech. Kohl has traveled over 9 million miles throughout his professional career! He has conducted more than 6,000 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 2,100 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications. Kohl is currently President of AgriVisions, LLC, a knowledge-based consulting business providing cutting-edge programs to leading agricultural organizations worldwide. 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!
Mykel Taylor, Ph.D.
Mykel Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. Dr. Taylor’s research and extension programs are focused in the area of farm management. She grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana and attended Montana State University majoring in Agribusiness Management. Her PhD in Economics is from North Carolina State University. She has worked in extension positions at both Kansas State University and Washington State University. Some of her current research areas include measuring basis risk for commodity grains, evaluation of Farm Bill commodity programs, and analyzing trends in Kansas agricultural land values, rental rates, and leasing arrangements.
Chris Koch was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and raised in the small farming and ranching community of Nanton, Alberta. Although he was born without arms and legs, he says it was clearly established early on in his life that he would not be raised with pity or sympathy. According to Chris, “My family could have treated my disability like a total tragedy but instead chose to take it all in stride and make the best of the situation. After all, I still had a good head on my shoulders… and with that, anything is possible.”
“I absolutely love sharing my story and spreading my message. My life has been a fun ride with a lot of laughs, and I make sure that my presentation reflects that. I have not let limitations or obstacles in my life stand in the way of achieving my goals and dreams, and I encourage others to do the same. Furthermore, I am constantly setting new goals for myself, and I think it’s important for everyone to always be challenging themselves as well. Simply put, if I can do the things I have done so far in my life, what is stopping anyone else from doing the same?”
The South Central College North Mankato Campus Foundation is providing veterans with complimentary tickets for a one-time guest attendance to the Ag Symposium. For veterans, the Ag Symposium will provide a special opportunity to learn about agriculture, network with industry partners about career opportunities and employment needs and visit with SCC faculty about their AgSPARK and Farm Business Management programs.
Veterans wishing to sign up for the Ag Symposium as a complimentary guest should call 507-389-7446 to pre-register by January 29, 2018 and provide their veteran status card or a dd214 form establishing official status when checking in at the event. Pre-registration would be appreciated, but walk-ins are also welcome.