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6 Perspectives needed to succeed in agriculture

David Kohl provides advice for agriculture students.

David Kohl, Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

September 8, 2021

2 Min Read
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After being grounded for 17 months by COVID-19, the opportunity to virtually guest lecture for a senior management class at Virginia Tech brought youthful perspectives and a focus on the future. The technology allowed five different speakers representing business and industry to bestow some advice and wisdom on the final class. The following are some of the perspectives that may be useful for the youth in your life as the fall and winter seasons kick in.

Be confident in yourself

One individual mentioned that students needed to be more confident in defending their position. He further stated that you must critically think about all sides of the equation and be in the position to defend your stance with facts and situational experiences. COVID-19 has disrupted business and lives causing the confidence coefficient to go down in some cases. Use this black swan event to conduct some self-reflection and come out stronger on the other side.

Develop your human side

Another guest lecturer indicated that working on being authentic, genuine, and passionate about what you do will set you apart. These three human skills, in addition to being empathetic and humble, are becoming rarer in a world dominated by technology.

Experience through travel

While COVID-19 has limited travel and social interaction, another guest speaker indicated that these experiences in the U.S. and abroad are very beneficial in life. However, technology has accelerated this interaction and, in some cases, is making it worldwide.

Related:Making lemonade out of lemons

Just say no

One can quickly become over scheduled and overcommitted. The ability to say no is essential in a world bound with requests and opportunities vying for one's time.


Remember, when starting a new job that you will not be an expert in everything. Do not be afraid to ask questions, be an engaged learner, and expand your horizons. Most people will have respect if you truly attempt to learn and improve.

Networking and listening

Listening and networking with people outside your realm is a lost art. Being a good listener often illustrates compassion and the ability to let an idea or concept challenge you. It is amazing that expertise can be brought to one's doorstep through modern-day technology and methods of interaction. This may become more of the new normal in a post-COVID type of social environment. 

As you interact with young people, perhaps a family member or a neighboring youth, keep these pieces of advice in the back of your mind as they have become very important in the pandemic environment.

Related:Cover crop bandwagon picking up speed

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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