Skip to content
Special pricing for virtual meetings! Call us for details & ideas
David Kohl

Dr. David Kohl, Ph.D.

Powerful Ag speaker! Award-winning instructor. Writes regularly for Corn and Soybean Digest and other ag lending publications

Price icon An icon of a dollar sign, signifying price

Price range

  • $2,000 - $7,000
Expert icon An icon of a lightbulb, signifying expert


  • Agriculture
  • Business Growth
  • Change
  • Economy
  • Management
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Sustainability: Organizational
  • Trends
Experience icon An icon of a gear, signifying experience


  • Agriculture
  • Banking
  • Economics
Career icon An icon of a microphone, signifying career


  • 40 Years
  • About

    David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.  Kohl is Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.  He was on special leave with the Royal Bank of Canada working on advanced initiatives for two years, and also assisted in the launch of the successful entrepreneurship program at Cornell University. 

    Kohl has traveled over 9 million miles throughout his professional career!  He has conducted more than 7,000 seminars and webinars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups.  He regularly speaks at over 20 young farmer programs annually. He has published five books and over 2,500 articles and video blogs on financial and business-related topics online and in journals, extension, and other popular publications.  Kohl regularly writes for Corn and Soybean Digest, Farm Futures, and other ag lending publications. 

    He has received 11 major teaching awards while teaching over 10,000 students, and 25 major Extension and Public Service awards from Virginia Tech, Cornell University, and state and national organizations.  Kohl is a two-time recipient of the prestigious American Agricultural Economics Association’s Outstanding Teaching Award.  Kohl is one of only five professors in the 100-year history of the Association to receive the award twice.  He received the Governor’s award for his distinguished service to Virginia agriculture, the youngest recipient to receive this award. Kohl was recognized as one of 30 leaders who are the brains behind innovative business management and economic information that agriculture uses today. He also has been named one of 7 economists and bankers who challenge the status quo. 

    Kohl has addressed the American Bankers Agricultural Conference for more than 40 consecutive years, and has appeared before numerous state bankers’ schools and conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the world. He is also one of the top-rated instructors at the LSU and Colorado Graduate Schools of Banking, and is Chancellor of the nationally acclaimed Farm Credit University, which has had over 6,000 enrollments of lenders and producers using a blended online and face-to-face educational approach. 

    As facilitator of the United States Farm Financial Standards Task Force and member of the Canadian Agricultural Financial Standards Task Force, Dr. Kohl was one of the leaders in establishing guidelines for the standardized reporting and analysis of agricultural producers’ financial information on a national and international basis.  The Kohl Agribusiness Centre has been established in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech in honor of his long-term commitment to practical teaching, research, and extension. In 2017, Kohl was inducted into the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame. 

    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!

  • Videos
  • Program

    Keynote OR Breakout | Educational | Motivational

    The black swan or unusual event of the century in the form of COVID-19 has landed on our doorstep.  What is the domestic and global economic outlook, both in the short and long run given the unfolding circumstances?  What are the positives for the agricultural industry?  How can producers and lenders work together to bridge the gap for a brighter future?  What does a recovery look like?  What are the lessons learned from past economic and financial shocks?  What specific actions are needed by both lenders and producers to navigate the economic and business whitewater?  

    Join this webinar to find out some answers to these questions plus engage and interact with Dr. Dave Kohl as he draws on five decades of academic, industry and business experience.  This session will bring the expertise to your doorstep virtually to energize your leaders, team members, customers, and community.   

    Keynote OR Breakout | Educational | Motivational

    COVID-19 and its unintended consequences have made a major impact on American agriculture, as well as the general U.S. and global economy.  The total impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural industry is far from a final assessment.  Dr. Dave Kohl, Professor Emeritus and Agricultural Academic Hall of Famer at Virginia Tech, has spent his career spanning five decades dealing with black swans and guiding the agricultural industry in navigating businesses through the economic whitewater.

    Using a virtual format, Dr. Kohl will provide a vision of how the agricultural industry can rise like a phoenix, the mythical bird for regeneration.  He will discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the U.S. and global economy, and the future marketplace including consumer demand shaping the macro view of the decade of the ’20s.

    Dr. Kohl will present specific strategies on a customized basis to a wide variety of producers, agribusiness owners and ag lending groups with engaging polling questions and Q&A.  The good doctor will provide time tested strategies of resilience and agility to reenergize business decision making.  Bring this high energy program to your doorstep virtually. 

    Keynote OR Breakout | Educational | Motivational

    To those who have followed Dr. Dave over the years, he often discussed the possible black swans with some ribbing and jokes from the listeners.  Well, the black swan landed like no other bird, creating economic, social and emotional anxiety in its wake.  

    As the black swan event progresses, how will it impact trade, globalization, consumer behaviors, and business models in the society of the future?  How can the agricultural industry adapt and capitalize in an economic environment analogous to the book Who Moved my Cheese? 

    How will individuals and businesses embrace change in a post-COVID world?  What are the top ten business, family and personal strategies that can provide an edge to managing through this and other potential black swan events?

    Come join this webinar where award winning Dr. Kohl brings decades of perspectives and experiences that will be customized to your audience or situation.   

    Keynote | Audience Participation | Educational | Entertainment | Technical

    Dr. Kohl’s extensive travel and work experiences with a wide range of groups including ag producers, agribusinesses, lenders and corporate board members give him a unique pulse on trends that will impact the landscape of agriculture.  This session is designed to link global perspectives down to the business level, and will cover changing consumer trends, dietary trends, technology and productivity, global issues, international trade, the transition from baby boomers to millennials and generation Z, and the urbanization of global populations.  The saying, “think globally, but act locally” is critical for the proactive businessperson attempting to gain a strategic advantage.  

    Keynote | Educational | Technical

    The agricultural economic down turn is in the seventh year and counting.  Razor thin margins combined with increased volatility is the economic environment that most in the industry are facing.  The result is massive changes in the structure of agriculture and rural communities.  What is the state of the trade agreements and the short and long-term implications to the bottom line?  Where are interest rates, land values, and food trends leading the industry?  How can one adjust strategies and tactics to cope and survive in this environment? One must have the business intelligence and street smarts to be successful.  This session will discuss the assessment of management IQ that often places one in the top third or bottom third of profitability.  What are the financial and business management characteristics that one must focus on in planning, strategizing, executing and monitoring for 2019 and beyond? 


    Previous generations were required to manage volatility, yet global and domestic economic forces have moved the bar to volatility in the extremes.  This will create more opportunity in the decade ahead than the past half-century; however, if not managed properly, it can create a high probability of failure. Join this energizing session and take a walk around economic trends followed by their implications to your organization, business, and personal endeavors.  Regardless of the cycle, if managed well and proactively, then you will be on the positive end of the profit spectrum. Be sure to attend this information-packed, high energy session presented by Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech.     


    Dr. Dave provides key viewpoints from his travels on the road throughout the U.S. and globally.  He will share his knowledge of global economic trends and the state of the U.S. economy.  This session is designed for groups and individuals to critically think about how events around the world and in the U.S. are impacting their business’ bottom lines and the future of the industry.


    On the road ahead, the good doctor will draw upon his decades of experience as an educator and business person to present common financial and business practices that will proactively position your business or customer regardless of the economic cycle.  This session is very versatile for a wide range of groups including lenders, producers, agribusiness owners and even students, with nuggets for each regardless of age, size of business, background or experience.     

    Keynote | Educational | Technical

    The economic reset in agriculture is placing a premium on those that are taking care of business.  This session is designed to contrast the best management characteristics of the top 40% of profitability compared to the bottom 30% of producers.  Through Dr. Kohl’s lifelong experiences from academics to interaction with lenders, producers, agribusiness owners and policymakers, this straightforward session identifies the financial management and risk management factors that place the business in the upper echelon of profits and sustainability.  Business owners and lenders will often use the financial benchmarks and best management practices as a guide in business and lending decisions whether is a startup business or one in growth or transition.  Come energize your business thinking with some practical tips and techniques that stand the test of time.


    Now into the seventh year of the agricultural economic reset, varying degrees of financial stress are emerging in many agricultural sectors.  What is around the corner and down the road concerning the global and domestic economy, land values, cash rents, and the overall bottom line?  This session will examine both the short run and long-run economic and financial picture.  What are the adjustments producers and lenders must make to position for success?  A new look at burn rate, not only on working capital, but also on core land equity, will be provided along with trends that will impact the industry now and by 2030.  Come with your questions to this high energy session that will get you prepared for one of the most critical periods in agriculture.      


    The mega trends/global economics presentations above are continuously updated and will be customized for your group.  

    Keynote OR Breakout


    Now into the seventh year of the agricultural economic reset, varying degrees of financial stress are emerging in many agricultural sectors.  The topics of discussion for lenders, loan review committees and board members focus on which customers to refinance or restructure as well as how to help those customers that need to grow and capitalize on the economic environment.

    This session will provide a view of the state of agriculture and new emerging trends that will impact your customers’ balance sheets and income statements, and the overall portfolio. 

    A special emphasis will be placed on offensive and defensive strategies on working capital burn rates and core equity burn rates which can influence the resilience and agility of the customer.  Discussion of a customer’s one-page recovery plan along with key financial and non-financial metrics of customer quadrants will be presented. Dr. Kohl will end the session with a question and answer period of some of the most commonly asked questions to engage the audience.   


    Connecting the Dots 

    The agricultural reset appears to be elongated with uncertainty around every corner and concern of when it will end.  A domestic and global overview will provide perspective concerning the factors and transformative trends influencing customers’ financials and lenders’ portfolios.  There will be discussion on credit risk and what is an acceptable burn rate on working capital and core equity.  Dr. Kohl will connect these dots to make sense of the many factors affecting ag lending today. Get ready for an engaging session with questions and answers to conclude the session.  


    Credit Risk 2019 and Beyond: Answers to Critical Questions 

    Managing agricultural credit risk and opportunities requires practices that stand the test of time regardless of the economic cycle. What are the top credit risks lenders are seeing around the corner given today’s lending environment?  How can lenders determine which agricultural borrowers will be sound credits and those that offer opportunity for growth, versus those that will add risk to the portfolio?  Find out the characteristics of successful agricultural lenders as well. You won’t want to miss this informative session.


    Credit Training- 1-2 Day School:  The Latest and Greatest Financial and Credit Analysis Topics

    This is specifically designed for ag lenders who want to sharpen their skill base concerning ag lending and can be customized for beginner to experienced lenders.  This session has been developed by one of the leading experts in the area of agricultural credit.  It is specifically designed for current times and the challenges facing agriculture and ag lending.  Dr. Dave Kohl, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, has been conducting training for over thirty years in the area of agricultural finance.  As a facilitator of the United States Farm Financial Standards Taskforce, he was instrumental in the development of key financial standards and methods in analyzing agricultural financial statements. 


    The principles and techniques of credit analysis are evolving as economic cycles and the structure of agriculture creates different areas for success.  The macro economic factors will kick-off the presentation followed by thoughts and perspectives on financial and credit analysis as well as the risks in agricultural lending. 


    Next, there will be discussion on critical data points in financial benchmarking along the economic cycle spectrum, including the characteristics of the 40% of proactive producers who thrive versus the bottom 30% of producers who struggle. 


    The latest and greatest concerning the importance of a balanced approach to agricultural lending including burn rate perspectives on working capital, core equity and factors that can impact these important variables will be presented. 

    There will be a side-by-side financial dashboard included that lenders can utilize while working with customers along with a ”Sixth C” scorecard that can assist in objectivity while analyzing the customer’s management habits.  In seeking balance in the lending equation, the ten commandments of the good, bad, and ugly character traits, or the soft side of lending, will be illustrated. 


    Of course, the one-page customer driven recovery or financial plan will be discussed along with tips and techniques for identifying and working with stressed credits.  As well as the Six C’s of Lending that can effectively position your institution for the next decade of ag lending.  


    Dr. Kohl will use case studies to help illustrate these points and bring these concepts to life.   

    Breakout | Educational | Motivational

    The current ag economic cycle is a difference maker for those who have high business IQ and are proactive managers versus reactive managers.  One must have business intelligence and street smarts to be successful.  This session will discuss the assessment of management IQ that often places managers in the top third or bottom third of profitability.  What are the financial and business management characteristics that one must focus on in planning, strategizing, executing and monitoring for 2019 and beyond? 

  • Review
    Thumbs Up icon An icon of a thumbs up

    “Dr. Kohl was great as always. Mississippi bankers love Dr. Kohl! He is always a HOME RUN in our book!”

    Mississippi Bankers Assoc. Amy D
    Thumbs Up icon An icon of a thumbs up

    “I truly enjoyed working with Dr. Kohl & Mike Pearson, and hope they would be willing to work together again in the future. We have a lot of education to do in these changing times, and I think we all came at it in a unique way during the breakout session and drove the same point home….Please pass along our sincere Thanks to both Dr. Kohl & Mike. As George Brett would say: This was a “Grand Slam”

    Moody's Analytics D.J.
Dr. Kohl was great as always. Mississippi bankers love Dr. Kohl! He is always a HOME RUN in our book!
Mississippi Bankers Assoc. Amy D