Recently I taught at the Advanced Agrilenders School at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisc. This is where the Green Bay Packers and coaches eat and sleep during their training camp.

Observation of the parking lot finds many killer toys. Bret Favre drives a Hummer at $130,000-150,000. Several SUV’s and trucks have the color shifting paint that changes colors from different angles. It costs about $100/gallon!

Credit Cards

Many of your families are sending children back to school. Tuition hikes and overcrowding are prevalent at many institutions. Watch for credit card debt. Many parents don’t know that their children are using this form of credit. Here are the latest stats for credit card use by students:

  • 67 percent used a credit card in 1998
  • 83 percent used a credit card in 1991

Average credit card debt by year in college:

  • Freshman: $1,533
  • Sophomore: $1,825
  • Junior: $2,705
  • Senior: $3,262

I wonder about the students that are on the five or six-year plan, as well as graduate students. It is difficult to climb out of this big debt hole!

How do you stack up?

Many of you are down in the dumps because of dry weather and low commodity prices. The average banker’s portfolio that attended my classes is down 38 percent. This is about like land values in the 1980’s.

My e-mail address is: sullylab@vt.edu

Editors’ note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.