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Kohl Agribusiness Centre

Agribusiness education reimagined

Two students brainstorm their term project on a blackboard.

What is the Kohl Centre?

The Kohl Centre provides students with an opportunity to solidify their knowledge and expand their skillset by engaging clients from around the state, building a professional network, and helping clients analyze and evaluate alternatives – all while earning degree credit. 

Kohl Centre partners - including Virginia Tech faculty, industry experts, state agencies, and consultants - first identify knowledge gaps and critical needs in the food and fiber sector. Kohl Centre students, with the help and facilitation of AAEC Facutly, then apply their classroom knowledge to help fill these gaps and needs.

Students are assessed on three measurable learning objectives:

  1. To present ideas orally and in writing
  2. To work with diverse partners in a team environment under time constraints
  3. To shape and direct their own work and contributions

In 2019, the Kohl Centre Experience group worked on three separate projects:

  • Economic Risk Mitigation Plans for Virginia's Agritourism Businesses
  • Economic Implications of Proposed Agricultural Certainty Program: The Case for Virginia Beef Producers
  • Direct Marketing in Virginia: A Look at Farmers’ Market Longevity and Success

SPRING 2023: The Kohl Centre Experiential learning course, AAEC 4414 - Applied Economic Problem-Solving, is offered in the fall. Contact our Undergraduate Advisor Katie White to see how the Kohl Centre can fit into your academic plan.  

Our inspiration and our namesake.

Professor Emeritus David M. Kohl served at the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics from 1978 until his retirement in 2003. 

Our biggest fan and key donor.

J. Pearson was raised on a family farm near Warrenton, VA. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1987 with a B.S. degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics. While at Tech, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets. 




Alumni James “J.” and Renae Pearson, of Lavonia, Georgia, have endowed a faculty position to support the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Their gift creates the James A. and Renae C. Pearson Collegiate Faculty Fellowship, which is tied to the department’s Kohl Agribusiness Centre, a visionary experiential learning program named after Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus Dave Kohl, one of J. Pearson’s life-long role models and mentors.

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The website is in progress.

Contact Matthew T. Holt, department head, for any questions you may have regarding the centre.