Students learn from top investors at Berkshire Hathaway

May 23, 2018
group photo at berkshire hathaway
Jonathan Bahr and Steve Vale

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Four University of Wisconsin-Platteville students recently attended the Berkshire Hathaway investors meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, giving them a unique opportunity to hear insights from some of the world’s most successful investors.

Participating students included Jenna Keiser, Katie Kaczor, Johnathan Bahr and Nick Lawinger. They attended with Dr. Lucie Kadjo, assistant professor of agribusiness at UW-Platteville.

Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate holding company, and the annual shareholders’ meeting is attended by more than 35,000 people, including many top business leaders from across the globe.

One of the highlights of the event was hearing Warren Buffet speak. “I thought it was a really interesting experience,” said Kaczor, a sophomore animal science major and agribusiness minor from Fremont, Wisconsin. “Warren Buffet started his speech with a very humbling story about how many years ago when the stocks in Berkshire Hathaway were low, and he got scared and sold at this time. His father bought more shares. Later he regretted his decision, because at that time if someone would have invested 10 thousand dollars it would be worth 51 million dollars today.”

Tickets for this event are only given to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Alumni Steve Vale – a 1983 graduate – and his wife, Lynn – a 1984 graduate – donated their tickets to grant students this unique opportunity. Additionally, Vale granted a Berkshire stock B to the student with the best report following the event.

Students agreed that the experience of learning outside of the classroom helped them gain a different perspective, adding that they found it interesting to learn about the many companies that Berkshire Hathaway holds and hear some business concepts that they learned in class.

“This trip was more than just the experience; I also gained knowledge from two of the best businessmen in the world.”
                                –Jonathan Bahr

“This trip was more than just the experience; I also gained knowledge from two of the best businessmen in the world,” said Bahr, a junior agribusiness major from Darlington, Wisconsin. “As an agribusiness major, with an emphasis in price and commodity analysis, I love numbers and the business world. This event was just for me. Being an agribusiness major I must have a broad knowledge of a lot of topics just like Warren [Buffet] and Charlie [Munger] have, so this was a great opportunity to see what areas to really pay attention to”.

“During the question and answer portion with Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger, I recognized many business terminologies that I learned in my agricultural business and economics classes, and some I have not learned yet which I recorded to ask my economics professor when we returned home,” said Keiser, a sophomore studying agribusiness and soil and crop science from Oregon, Wisconsin. “Additionally, the meeting helped my education by steering me in a more defined direction regarding my major, and showing me that I would enjoy an emphasis in communications.”

“The Berkshire event came with many different view points from an enormous amount of people,” said Lawinger, a freshman political science major from Verona, Wisconsin. “It brought perspectives, values and stories to be shared for all to build general knowledge of their business practices. The experience sharpened my, and others’, business tools to use in the classroom and in the real world.”

“This is my second time attending the Berkshire event; and Warren and Charlie’s wisdoms and intellects as well as the large and diverse crowd always impress me,” said Kadjo.

The group extends their thanks to the Glenn Webb Education Fund/GROWMARK Foundation for helping to fund this activity, as well as support from the Vales and the School of Agriculture.


Written by: Alison Parkins, associate director of Public Relations, Communications

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