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It’s Time for Ag Producers to Sweat the Small Stuff

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Dr. David Kohl
Home > Education & Events > June 2017 > It’s Time for Ag Producers to Sweat the Small Stuff
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Hi, I'm Dr. Dave Kohl, Professor at Emeritus, Agriculture Economics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, and of course, we'd like to welcome you back to the macro clinic. 

Earlier this summer at a speaking engagement in Fort Worth, Texas, I met a young man from Oklahoma State University for a breakfast meeting. He had just received his graduate degree. He asked me, "What am I not going to learn today?" Well, that threw the professor for a loop! But then I start thinking about it. 

I thought it was a very, very good question. At first, though, I thought he was being kind of a wise guy. I told him about what he's wasn’t going to learn in my session that day: there's no magic silver bullet in managing the business. Oftentimes it's sweating the small stuff, doing little things incrementally better. 

I also had to tell him he wasn't going to learn how to become a millionaire. In agricultural businesses there's no one successful model that's going to make you a millionaire. You have to take the situation, and fit it to your skill base, and then develop a successful business model. 

Next, he wasn't going to learn what's going to be the next big thing in agriculture. To stay competitive, sometimes it's exploring little, niche markets. It's connecting the dots, and kind of putting the puzzle together. 

Finally, he wasn't going to get all the answers in today's seminar or in any session. Being successful in business is an accumulation of information, experiences, and putting together the best model which is applicable to you. 

Again, the young man was challenging, but it was probably one of the most interesting questions I've been asked in the past year, and I thought it would be a very good point to bring across here in the macro clinic. 

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