A “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity is how several University of Wisconsin-Platteville students described their recent trip to the annual Berkshire Hathaway investors meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate holding company, and the annual shareholders meeting is attended by more than 40,000 people – including some of the world’s most successful investors from around the globe.
Among the highlights for students was the opportunity to listen to Warren Buffet as he delivered a speech and answered shareholders’ questions.
“My lifelong goal is to be able to go back home and take over the family farm,” said Justin Fox, a sophomore agribusiness and animal science major from Dwight, Illinois. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘What pieces of knowledge can I take from this convention and bring home to my family farm?’ Mr. Buffet not only inspired me to dive deeper into the world of business, but caused me to reflect on my own life and what I value in it.”
Other participating students included Amalia Adrian, a sophomore animal science major from Watertown, Wisconsin; Carlie Rademacher, a sophomore agribusiness major from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin; and Jordan Burns, a senior agribusiness major from Stockbridge, Wisconsin.
Tickets for this event are only provided to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway stock. As a way to give back to the university and present students with this unique opportunity, alumni Steve Vale – a 1983 graduate – and his wife, Lynn – a 1984 graduate – donate their tickets to students each year. Additionally, they grant a Berkshire stock B to the student who submits the strongest report reflecting on the event.
“Hard work, perseverance and patience are great skills that each one of us should cultivate to achieve a successful life. Also, money and happiness have no correlation. These are some valuable lessons that I learned from listening to the two wise and successful men, Warren [Buffet] and Charlie [Munger], that I’d like to share with students.” – Dr. Lucie Kadjo
Students agreed that the conference offered an opportunity to network with business leaders and build on concepts they have learned in their classes.
“After attending this event, it gave me the chance to network with people all over the United States, by starting a simple conversation to reaching the topic in the conversation about agriculture, which led to my farm Facebook page,” said Rademacher. “Furthermore, this conference increased my communication skills when asking questions that I did not understand about all the accounting terminology that was spoken throughout the conference discussion. It helped me further my knowledge of the accounting principles that I did understand of their quarterly balance sheet.”
Dr. Lucie Kadjo, assistant professor of agribusiness at UW-Platteville, led the students on the trip and said that she hopes students learn that great success can start from nothing.
“Hard work, perseverance and patience are great skills that each one of us should cultivate to achieve a successful life,” said Kadjo. “Also, money and happiness have no correlation. These are some valuable lessons that I learned from listening to the two wise and successful men, Warren [Buffet] and Charlie [Munger], that I’d like to share with students.”
The trip was funded by the UW-Platteville School of Agriculture Foundation. This educational opportunity to students was provided by generous support form Glenn Webb Education Fund/The GROWMARK Foundation.