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Staying Positive in the Agriculture Industry

Date: 
Author: 
Dr. David Kohl
Educational Opportunities: 
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Grain, Dairy, Swine, Beef, Timber, Young, Beginning Farmers
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Hi I'm Dr. Dave Kohl Professor Emeritus, and Academic Hall of Famer from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. Well, today's subject matter is, and it's very timely, staying positive through the tough economic times that those in the agriculture industry are currently facing. One of the questions that was asked by a group of farm operation owners the other day was how do we stay positive, particularly when we've been in this five or six year downturn? Well, here are a few suggestions.
           
Remember like the old Mama and Papa song, "The darkest hour is before the dawn?" Well what we have to realize is that often times to stay positive you have to surround yourself with positive people. One of the things I find is that people's net worth and self-worth are often equated or correlated to the type of people that they stay around. In other words, do the people see the cup half empty, or see it half full? So, having that positive circle of friends is very, very important.

I think another element that's important is sometimes we have to shut down the social media and TV. Yes, I would have to say don't completely shut it down, but be selective because today one of the things that we're finding is extremes can become extremely negative.
           
The other thing is don't ever forget the power of the older person's wisdom. Sometimes what we need to do is shut down our technology and have a talk with grandpa or grandma, or an older person in the community who has been through many of these economic cycles in the Ag industry. Sometimes their wisdom, or just sometimes their philosophy can be reassuring, particularly in these down cycles.
           
And then finally, make sure you invest in yourself. Go out for some educational seminars particularly outside the field of agriculture. Make sure you maintain a good, strong exercise program. And also take time to reflect.
           
But you know one of the things that often times can help you break the cycle? Give back. I just had a friend of mine that went on a mission trip to Guatemala. One of the things he said was, "That was very, very uplifting," but you don't have to go out of the country. Sometimes you can give back right into your local communities.
           
Well, I'm sure you can come up with many others, but hopefully this will be a spiritual uplift, particularly as we get into the darker days here of Fall, and into Winter as you develop an approach for 2019 and beyond.
 
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