Thank you for making 2013 one of the best years in ASFMRA history. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead this organization—and I truly appreciate the support, engagement, leadership and vision of our members. Our member survey continues to prove that professional development and personal relationships are among the greatest benefits of ASFMRA membership. I wholeheartedly agree—it is the members that make this organization great.
Our focus on growing membership is paying off. In 2012, our initiatives dealt primarily with attracting new and younger members—and developing the next generation of agricultural property professionals. We have seen good results from our efforts.
In 2013, we further honed our strategies and broadened our efforts to include mid-career members as well. A number of strategic discussions on branding, marketing and educational offerings took place—all in an effort to improve the value of ASFMRA and our members’ experience.
These initiatives, coupled with our efforts to raise the overall level of awareness of ASFMRA, have resulted in the most substantial membership growth in decades. A strong agricultural economy has been an additional boon, as more young people are seeing this sector as a viable career opportunity.
During 2013, we focused on crafting the brand strategy and brand messaging for ASFMRA—and ways in which our industry leadership and member value can best be communicated to a variety of audiences. We partnered with marketing professionals to develop a number of new marketing tools to effectively tell the ASFMRA story including:
• A series of brochures outlining the value of membership, education and designations
• A tabletop display for use at trade shows and events
• PowerPoint presentations for use with key audiences—and the ability to customize those presentations for your specific location and audience
• Videos that focus on membership and education that will be available online and on DVD for use by chapters.
Our society’s financial position is sound, and 2013 was especially strong thanks to a successful annual meeting, significant growth in membership, and high enrollment in our educational offerings.
We have also enjoyed significant support from sponsors for events such as the annual meeting, Summer Education Week, the Leadership Institute and other programs. Our sponsors and partners continue to see value in being aligned with ASFMRA and the professionals who make up our organization.
These revenues enable ASFMRA to invest in a number of key projects that will pay long-term dividends—including new software and database packages and the upgraded hardware to support our IT functions. We will also be executing a total education review in 2014-17.
Converting a number of farms to custom operations—and increasing net income by $100 to $200 per acre in the process—is just one reason Kenneth L. Schmitt, AFM, of Farmers National Company (FNC) in Jefferson, Iowa, was named ASFMRA’s Professional Farm Manager of the Year.
Ken grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Lohrville, Iowa, and holds a B.S. degree from Iowa State University in Agricultural Studies-Farm Operations. He operated the family farm for several years before opening the Denison, Iowa, office of Farmers National Company in 1986. Since that time, he has been directly involved with the management and sales of farms in central and west central Iowa—and has received the FNC Million Dollar Sales Club award seven times.
An Accredited Farm Manager, Ken has served as president of the Iowa Chapter of ASFMRA (2011) and as president of the Education Foundation of that chapter (2013).
This award is sponsored by ASFMRA, AgProfessional magazine and Syngenta. It recognizes professional farm managers whose dedication and commitment to agriculture have benefitted their clients, the American consumer and the land.
Steve Runyan, ARA, FRICS, was recognized as the 2013 Appraisal Professional of the Year. After receiving his B.S. degree from California State Polytechnic University, he began his career as an appraiser with Bank of America and also worked as a rancher and senior appraiser. He opened Runyan Appraisal Service in Bakersfield, Calif. in 1991.
Steve received his ARA accreditation in 1998 and his FRICS in 2008. He is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in California. His dedication to ASFMRA has been demonstrated in his role as an ASFMRA instructor as well as in leadership roles at both the California Chapter and national officer levels.
2012-13 was a great year for ASFMRA education with more than 2,300 students enrolled in a total of 88 classes. High-quality education and professional development are primary initiatives of ASFMRA—and we are continually working to add new courses and improve the overall quality of your educational experience. ASFMRA is dedicated to helping its members become the most qualified appraisers, farm managers and consultants in the agriculture sector.
Other educational highlights during 2012-13:
• New appraisal courses were offered in “Regression Analysis Uses in Appraisal” and “Rural Case Studies 1.”
• A new Excel seminar specifically for farm managers was also introduced this year.
• A new course in “Basic Appraisal Procedures” is slated for launch in 2014.
A comprehensive review of our educational offerings will be conducted over the next three years to ensure that our courses continue to lead the industry and develop the professionals who meet the high standards of ASFMRA.
Meetings Break Attendance Records
Opportunities to learn in practitioner-developed and delivered classes that are profession-specific, along with great networking opportunities are driving an even higher level of interest in ASFMRA meetings and conferences:
• Summer Education Week topped 300 attendees for the first time
• Annual meeting attendance continues to grow—with 450 in 2012 and more than 500 in 2013
• ASFMRA Leadership Institute continues to be a popular event for managers & appraisers
• Many ASFMRA chapters experienced increased attendance in meetings and education offerings
Accelerated AFM Takes Off
The ASFMRA Management Education Committee worked closely with the California Chapter of ASFMRA, instructors, developers and staff, to deliver the first Accelerated AFM education. This program is designed especially for experienced farm managers seeking the AFM designation. Thirty-three students attended the classes in Fresno, Calif. A repeat session is planned for 2015.
ASFMRA offers accreditation that is unique to the agriculture property industry—helping members achieve designations that are a testament to their professional conduct, leadership and ethical standards.
Higher enrollment in education classes and the new Accelerated AFM program helped lead to 41 members receiving their designations in 2013. Achieving designation is no small task—the average member invests about five years working toward designation.
The result is worth it. Achieving designation proves that you have the professional skill, experience, integrity and commitment to earn the trust of the marketplace and perform at the highest level. An ASFMRA designation is a difference that makes a difference.
• Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) designation requires 80 hours of education, five years’ experience and a comprehensive exam. At least another 40 hours of education are required to obtain the Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation.
• Achieving Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designation requires a Certified General appraiser license plus another 121 hours of classroom work, as well as five years’ experience and a comprehensive exam.
• The Real Property Review Appraisal (RPRA) designation requires an additional 115 hours of education beyond the Certified General appraiser license—plus a comprehensive exam as well as five years’ experience, including at least one year as a review appraiser.
Newly Accredited for 2013
Kyle Amos, AFM
John Arnold, AFM
David Baughman, AFM
James R. Dunlap, AFM
Carl Evers, AFM
David Evers, AFM
Blake Florell, AFM
Matthew Foos, AFM
Chris Hammell, AFM
Randy Heinzen, AFM
Mark Hutson, AFM
Lloyd Johnson, AFM
Steve MacGregor, AFM
Ryan Metzler, AFM
Chris Ostmeyer, AFM
Kenneth Peters, AFM
Christian Ramirez, AFM
James Redmond, AFM
Erik C.Roget, AFM
Mayo Ryan, AFM
Don Threadgold, AFM
James W. Weatherford, AFM
Michael Anchordoquy, AAC
Johan Bolle, AAC
Timothy Fuchs, AAC
Peter Holmes, AAC
Kenneth L. Warlick, AAC
Daniel Whisenhunt, AAC
Boyd Corkins, AFM, AAC
Hugh Hunt, AFM, AAC
Clay Jacobson, AFM, AAC
Roger L. Leach, AFM, AAC
Mark J. Peterson, AFM, AAC
Skye Root, AFM, AAC
Lorrain Friant, ARA
Jenna McCarty, ARA
Ben Moore, ARA
Melissa Sandlin, ARA
Eric Stroschein, ARA
David Tilton, ARA
Michael Ward, RPRA
Longevity & Recognition
Each year at the ASFMRA Annual Conference we recognize members’ contributions to the Agriculture world, academics and our professions; we also take a moment to recognize those individuals who have reached membership milestones.
Ray M. Carmichael, AFM, ARA-Retired
John M. Cotton
Roger Heller, AFM
Fred E. Justus, Jr., Ph.D.
Jay D. Luse, AFM, ARA
Robert H. Williams, ARA
Wallace L. Yoder, AFM, ARA-Retired
Dale E. Aupperle, AFM, ARA
I. Mac Boyd, ARA
Arlin J. Brannstrom, AAC
R. Wayne Buck, ARA-Retired
Keith W. Carlson, AFM, ARA
Kenneth D. Conrad, AFM-Retired
Raymond E. Defenbaugh
Owen R. Demo, ARA
Jeffery D. Hudson, AFM, ARA
William P. Hunter, Jr.
Martin L. Mattes, AFM, ARA-Retired
Alvin E. Butch Nelson, Jr., ARA
Larry J. Neppl, AFM-Retired
Wendel K. Nicolaus, Jr., ARA
James Connor Smith, ARA-Retired
Dennis P. Uthof, AFM
90% of Members Agree…
…they have made lasting relationships with professional colleagues thanks to ASFMRA membership. That’s what a recent member survey said! Networking is consistently cited as one of the most valuable benefits of ASFMRA membership and meetings. Having “friends in the business” creates opportunities to share experiences, discuss real-life challenges (and solutions), and create connections that are important both professionally and personally.
You Won’t Read This Stuff Anywhere Else!
The 2013 Journal of the ASFMRA was a huge success with 18 manuscripts featured. The publication addressed a wide range of issues from “Construction and operation costs for whitetail deer farms” to “Impact of rainfall, sales method and time on land prices.” The Journal continues to be a valuable resource for professionals in our industry—and demonstrates the thought leadership of ASFMRA and the intelligence and insight of its members. View the complete Journal.
In keeping with our focus on developing new professionals, ASFMRA held its third annual Career Day during Summer Education Week in Omaha. The half-day program, targeting college juniors and seniors, provided information on careers in farm management, rural appraisal and consulting. The students took part in practice interview with agriculture professionals and participated in a fast-paced “power networking” event with prospective employers.
The students were invited to sit in on a professional educational class the following day to gain a greater understanding of the profession—and to learn more about the careers available to them in this specialized field.
The Young Professionals Network (YPN) group within ASFMRA was created to provide our younger members the opportunity to establish professional and personal relationships with peers, develop into leaders for the organization—and begin to enjoy the networking that is a hallmark of ASFMRA membership.
YPN held its first seminar during Summer Education Week (SEW) in July in Omaha, with 30 attendees. The half-day seminar on communication and personality styles was co-presented by Kevin Carpenter, Sales Training Manager for DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa; and Jill Berg, president of Spherion Staffing in Fargo, North Dakota. YPN leadership is planning another event for SEW 2014 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer and ASFMRA, Leadership Institute has been in place for 20 years—providing participants with an inside look at how Washington, DC, works. Ten appraisers and 19 farm managers took part in the 2013 Institute September 9-13.
The Leadership Institute provides opportunities for participants to hone their communications skills with lawmakers and staff and to better understand the legislative process. The experience gained is helpful to participants in their roles as a business person, as a citizen, and as an advocate for agriculture.
The 2013 group had some memorable conversations with Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD). They also heard from Jim Borel, Executive Vice President of DuPont; DuPont’s senior economist Tom Reynolds; John Hays, Senior Vice President and Policy Analyst for Farm Credit Services; and representatives from USDA, RMA and number of commodity and farm groups. Get information on the 2014 Leadership Institute.
Technology Upgrades Boost Benefits
The development of a robust new database system for ASFMRA began in 2013 and will be complete by mid-2014. This long overdue improvement, coupled with the new server, accounting software and website, will mean that all ASFMRA technologies will be aligned for optimum productivity and efficiency—and that will lead to an even higher level of member service and user-friendliness.
ASFMRA continues to bring you excellent customer service and expertise. In 2013 some staffing changes took place at the ASFMRA offices including:
• Andy Barlow became Director of Education, replacing Mark Grace. Andy brings a wealth of knowledge in adult learning and delivery technologies. Mark Grace is now serving on the Alliance for Valuation Education (AVE) board along with Paul Bierschwale, ARA.
• Michele Stockman joined the shipping and receiving area. She is married to EVP/CEO Brian Stockman and replaced Jeremy Lewis who left earlier in the year.