Wall Street may slog along for the next seven years, but it could prove to be an opportunity for Main Street bankers as America moves away from a nation of spenders to a nation of savers.

So says Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Kohl delivered his annual talk on the ag economy at the American Bankers Association National Agricultural Bankers Conference, held recently at San Antonio, Texas.

"We've reached an inflection point in our economy," Kohl said. "We are either going to reinvent ourselves, find the new engines of economic growth and re-emerge or move into a more European type of economy. You'll also see Asia, particularly China, rise up."

Agriculture could be pivotal as one of those new engines of growth, he said.

"To some people, agriculture is considered a small sector, but has a huge footprint, both economically and politically. There's food, feed and fuel. The biological and life sciences," Kohl said. "If you come from a large bank, I know that some perceive ag to be a very small part of the economy. Don't bet against it. Ag is going to be a major engine of growth for this economy."

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