David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. For 25 years, Kohl was Professor 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 is Professor Emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech. Kohl has traveled over 9 million miles throughout his professional career! He has conducted more than 6,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups. He has published four books and over 1,500 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications. Kohl regularly writes for Corn and Soybean Digest, and other ag lending publications.
He has received 11 major teaching awards while teaching over 10,000 students, and 18 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 nearly 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 has addressed the American Bankers Agricultural Conference for over 35 consecutive years, and has appeared before numerous state bankers’ schools and conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the world. He has also been one of the top rated instructors at the LSU and Colorado Graduate Schools of Banking, and is Chancellor of Farm Credit University, which has trained over 2,000 lenders using an 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.
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!
Richard Brock is owner and president of Brock Associates, an agricultural marketing advisory service and publisher of The Brock Report, a 24 page weekly fundamental and technical newsletter. His firm manages grain sales on over 400,000 acres throughout the U.S. and is an advisor on purchasing strategies for many large poultry, pork, dairy and food companies. Brock is on retainer with several agri-business firms for his input on strategic planning. He writes a monthly column for two agriculture magazines and speaks at over 50 conventions and conferences per year.
Brock grew up on the family grain and pork farm in central Indiana. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and his Master’s Degree from Cornell University. He lives in Milwaukee, WI and Destin, FL.
Matt Roberts is founder of The Kernmantle Group, an economics research and training consultancy. Dr. Roberts is a nationally-renowned expert and speaker on the grain and energy markets. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and Forbes, and has been interviewed on CNBC. Roberts received a B.A. in Economics from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University. Prior to graduate school Roberts worked as a commodity and energy derivatives broker in Vienna, Austria and as a market research consultant to the pharmaceutical industry in North Carolina. From 2001 through 2016, Roberts was and Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at The Ohio State University. He is an active speaker, appearing approximately 50 times per year around the nation on grain, petroleum, and biofuels markets, and is also an active consultant to the commodity industry.
Bill Johnson is President and CEO of Farm Credit Mid-America, a $22 billion agricultural cooperative serving over 100,000 farmers, agribusinesses, and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He has over 30 years of financial services experience within the Farm Credit System and has held leadership roles in Farm Credit entities across the country including the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and New England.
Johnson came to Farm Credit Mid-America in March 2011 from AgriBank in St. Paul, MN where he served as Executive Vice President-Chief Risk and Information Officer. He grew up on a small farm in Southern Indiana and worked in his family’s farm supply business. Johnson received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Evansville and a Masters of Business Administration from Gonzaga University.
Johnson currently serves as Vice Chair of the Farm Credit System President’s Planning Committee and is a member of the Business Practices Committee. He is a board member of Denver based Farm Credit Council Services and Indianapolis based AgriNovus Indiana. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Evansville and is active at other universities in speaking and advisory roles.