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Positivity in the Agriculture Industry Amidst COVID-19

Date: 
Author: 
Dr. David Kohl
Educational Opportunities: 
Videos
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Grain, Dairy, Swine, Beef, Young, Beginning Farmers
Home > Education & Events > August 2020 > Positivity in the Agriculture Industry Amidst COVID-19
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Hi, I'm Dr. Dave Kohl, Ag economist and academic hall of famer from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. One of the big questions I'm being asked is, "Are there any positives that have come out of this black swan disrupter and COVID-19 type of environment?" It really got me thinking and here are some of the following things that I think are positive.

First of all, the importance of a diversified, safe, food, fiber and fuel source. The basics for life have increased in importance, not only here in the United States of America, but globally where we export one out of every five dollars of our net farm income.
               
The second aspect that's very positive is the reassurance and transparency of where our food is produced, processed, and distributed. Another element a number of people are starting to think about is soil and water health. If you look at where the major bugs have broken out in this century, it’s a century that is going to be defined by biology, compared to the last century that was defined by physics. One of the things the United States has going for it, and to some extent North America, we have healthy soils and water. And if you have healthy soils and water, you have a healthy plant, animals, human beings and healthy environment. And we really need to market that aspect.
               
Also a resurgence of local niche markets and agro tourism. One of the things, is people are looking at coming out, and enjoying experiences. Another aspect that's very important is the repositioning of the image of the agriculture industry, particularly with an urban environment that now understands the importance of farm operations.
               
Now, one attribute that I see as a positive is the rural renaissance, but we need internet access and we have to have broadband to do so. And if we do that, that will attract young people back into agriculture, and that is very vital for that vitality as we move forward.
               
Finally, I'm seeing teamwork, particularly in agriculture. People are more gracious, flexible, and adaptable. This is very important for when we try to find creative solutions, to not only move us down through the journey of business, but the journey of life. See you next time.
 
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