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The 2020s: A Decade of Economic Divide

Hi, I'm Dr. Dave Kohl, professor emeritus, agriculture economics, and academic Hall of Famer from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.

The theme today is, The Decade of the 2020s: of Economic and Financial Divide. One of the things that we're going to see is volatility, but volatility in extremes, whether it's prices or costs. And one of the things that's going to require is zoning in on specific management attributes. Number one is managing the controllables and managing around the uncontrollables. We can't manage election results or what President Xi does in China. One of the things that we have to have is strategies to manage around. One of the things that we can manage is the controllables. Our production efficiency, operational efficiency, marketing and risk management programs. And so, one of the things that we find the better managers do, they have two buckets. They focus on the things that they can control and manage around the uncontrollables.

 Another element requires a two-dimensional manager, one who is adaptive, innovative, and flexible. But then on the other hand, they follow the process and they're focused. And this is going to be real critical, particularly in an environment that can get your eye off the ball. Another element that we're going to see pick acceleration is management transition. This is not only with farm and ranch businesses, but it's with pliers lenders, et cetera. So having a transition management plan is going to be very, very critical. Oftentimes it'll take one, two or three years, so it's not a quick fix.

On a positive note, the decade of the 2020s, we'll be very entrepreneurial. And this is where managers have to identify what their strengths are, align their resources, whether it's land or whether it's equipment livestock, and then align up with the marketplace. And for the people that do these elements, one of the things is they'll be in the top half of the financial divide. But we'll see you the next time.

Dr. David


Professor of Agriculture
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