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 8 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 1,300 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 30 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 700 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!
Freddie Barnard is a native of the state of Kentucky where he grew up on a family farm, which he currently owns and manages with his brother and cousin. Dr. Barnard received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1982. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University where he has been a member of the faculty for the past 31 years. He teaches agribusiness management to undergraduate students and works with agricultural producers and lenders in the state of Indiana and across the country. He has served as the director of the Midwest Agricultural Banking School for the past 32 years and teaches at several other agricultural lending schools across the country. He retired in 1998 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, after serving 23 years in the Illinois Army National Guard. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Lafayette IN and have 3 children.
RICHARD BROCK (Conference Speaker)
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 agribusiness 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.
Steve Isaacs serves the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture as an Extension Professor in Agricultural Economics, Co-Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program, and Director of the UK Income Tax Seminar Program.
Steve has been at the University of Kentucky since 1992. He has a BS (’76) and PhD (’92) from the University of Tennessee. He grew up on a hill-side farm in East Tennessee, managed a commercial farming operation for nine years prior to graduate school, and continues to manage a diversified family farm in Nonesuch, Kentucky with his wife, Geri, and son, Ben. He has over 250 print and electronic publications and has conducted over 700 Extension educational programs. He teaches Ag Management Principles and Human Resource Management at UK and has been active in undergraduate curriculum development and student advising.
Steve has received Extension and teaching awards at the state, regional, and national level. He has international farm management experience in Africa, Europe, New Zealand, and South America. He has chaired both the Southern and North Central Farm Management Extension committees and served on the national FFA Farm Business Management committee. He also served as the Assistant Director for Community and Economic Development for UK’s Cooperative Extension Service.
Thomas Payne is the Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking and Professor of Finance at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Dr. Payne holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Arkansas. Since coming to academia from the private sector where he worked for two Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Payne has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and earned a reputation as an outstanding speaker, author, teacher, and consultant. In addition to his duties as Dunagan Chair of Banking, Tom served as Interim Chair of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Political Science from 2007-2013 and now serves as a Faculty Manager for the Ned Ray McWherter Institute for Collaboration and Innovation. Prior to coming to UT Martin in 1998, Dr. Payne taught commercial banking, financial markets, and the capstone course in corporate finance as Associate Professor of Finance at UT Chattanooga.
Tom serves on the faculty of the Tennessee Bankers Association Southeastern School of Consumer Credit, the Barret Graduate School of Banking in Memphis, and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU where he was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Eugene Spragens President’s Award for teaching excellence. He has been instrumental in the establishment and delivery of UT Martin’s online MBA for Banking and Financial Services Professionals. In 2013, this program was ranked tenth in the nation among all online MBAs by U.S. News & World Report. Tom hosts the annual Mid-South Agricultural Lending Conference and is founder and co-director of the Mid-South School of Advanced Agricultural Lending.
Tom is chairman of the Martin Industrial Development Board and a member of the Weakley County Economic Development Board of Directors. He is a former member of the WestStar Leadership Program Board of Trustees and founder of the UTM Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (REED) Center. Now affiliated with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center Network, the REED Center supports small business growth and economic development in Northwest Tennessee. An active Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow, Tom is a past president of the Martin Rotary Club.
Scott Parrot is Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at The University of Tennessee at Martin. Dr. Parrott holds a B.S. in Agribusiness Management from Tennessee Technological University, an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from The University of Tennessee.
After receiving his doctorate from the University of Tennessee in 1997, Dr. Parrott worked 8 years in the private sector at American Express in Phoenix, Arizona. Among his responsibilities were Risk Management and Applied Statistical and Financial Modeling. While at American Express Dr. Parrott worked mostly with International operations but he also spent some time with United States operations as well.
After American Express, Dr. Parrott worked two years at a smaller organization in Charleston, SC devoted to providing software and analytical assistance to charitable organizations.
Dr. Parrott joined the faculty in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at The University of Tennessee at Martin in August 2008 where he teaches several classes including applied statistics, marketing, finance and applied decisions sciences. His research interests include the economics of biofuel expansion and applied statistical techniques. Dr. Parrott has authored or co-authored more than twenty-six professional publications and presentations and has received external funding for a few of his teaching initiatives.