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Believe it or not, as Dr. Kohl looks back on the past year, he finds good in the pandemic.

David Kohl, Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

April 13, 2021

3 Min Read
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After a little more than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, one can casually observe green shoots emerging in the spring of the cycle, just like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes. What are some of the lessons learned from this black swan event that hopefully will stand the test of time?


One of the positive results of the pandemic has been the opportunity for many individuals to reevaluate their priorities after being chronically overscheduled. Whether it is work-life balance, too many activities for the kids, or general overcommitment, these priorities are all being reassessed. Some of the comments on webcast discussion boards indicate that participants have been able to “get a life,” spend more time with their children, and be able to say no to more responsibilities on their plate. They have also made time to reach out to others that were neglected, important, or have made a difference in their lives. This reinforces the importance of setting business, family, and personal goals. Written goals can provide a beacon that can be measured and provide the boundaries of commitments that will keep you out of the ditches and potholes of life.

Financial liquidity

The pandemic has taught many the importance of financial liquidity, whether it is for a business or personal household. The loss of employment or the shutdown of crop and livestock markets provided a lesson on maintaining reserves and quickness to cash. Perhaps the recommended three to six months of cash reserves should be expanded to six to nine months for households. While the government came to the rescue for some, others were not so fortunate. Hopefully, understanding one's finances with a monitoring system will be a positive outcome of the pandemic.

Related:USDA inspector to examine meat processing COVID cases

Environmental and climate change

Perhaps we have discovered that our bovines are not entirely to blame for pollution problems. Clearer air over many major metropolitan areas, when traffic was 20 percent of normal, hopefully was a lesson in balancing climate and environmental policies. As society proceeds regarding policy adjustments, agriculture can be positioned as a solution rather than a problem.

Frontline workers

Online school programs and more education from home has reinforced the importance of good teachers. It is teachers, nurses, first responders, and other frontline people that are important components of keeping society moving forward. Hopefully, these people will never be forgotten.

Whether the pandemic ends in 2021 or continues for a number of years, mother nature has a way of bringing humility regardless of one's position in life. A good strategic plan for individuals, families, and businesses may need to be a priority before we forget some of the positives that resulted from this game changer.

Related:NCGA addressing issues from COVID to contamination

Source: Dr. David Kohlwhich is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

About the Author(s)

David Kohl

Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

Dr. Dave Kohl is an academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Dr. Kohl has keen insight into the agriculture industry gained through extensive travel, research, and involvement in ag businesses. He has traveled over 10 million miles; conducted more than 7,000 presentations; and published more than 2,500 articles in his career. Dr. Kohl’s wisdom and engagement with all levels of the industry provide a unique perspective into future trends.

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