ASFMRA Annual Report 2012

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To all ASFMRA Members: Thank you for helping make 2012 a very successful year for the ASFMRA! We consider you, the member to be our most important asset.

New Paths on a Familiar Road

In order to get to where we are going, we must know where we started, what fence posts have been set in place along our path to guide us and we need to know which washed out parts of the road we had to overcome at times helping us to create a new path.  As a Professional Society, ASFMRA traces that path back to 1929. Through the years we have added sections to our membership base and increased our offerings to support our membership and their commitment to protect and serve their clients.  Our mission to be the Most Trusted Rural Property Professionals is evident in our daily actions–we have adapted our path as legislative, social, and professional changes have come along. In doing so, the ASFMRA continues as the leader in education and as an advocate for the professions we serve. While our goals in 2012 might have been a little different from those in 1929, our mission is still the same. Together, as a professional society, we will uphold our standards, ever strive to improve on best practices and continue our momentum into 2013.

Mission:  As a Professional Society, ASFMRA helps members better serve their clients with trustworthy valuation, management, consulting and marketing services. 

Vision:  ASFMRA is recognized as The Most Trusted Rural Property Professionals.


ASFMRA Annual Report 2012 - ASFMRA President, JEFFREY L. BERG, ARA

Building on the success of previous presidents and executive councils, the growth and momentum that ASFMRA is currently experiencing will only continue to gain speed in the upcoming year.  In 2012 we set out to expand our membership and create a formidable and respected presence in the Young Professional (YPN) and Student arenas.  This was very well received.  As one YPN member stated “this is the opportunity to build a network of colleagues that will be around for many years” and that was the driving force for joining the ASFMRA’s Young Professional Network.  Many chapters sponsored attendees for Leadership Institute, Annual Conference and Summer Education Week.    We continued our focus on the Accreditation Programs. We redefined the RPRA in preparation for Dodd-Frank which led to new, very well received seminars aimed at the Banking and Lending sectors.  Attendance at our educational offerings and Conferences are exceeding projections.  Relationships with vendors and sponsors at these events continue to allow the ASFMRA to produce and deliver the highest quality product.  To be the best in the business, you must surround yourself with the best, mentor those just starting out and acknowledge the contributions of those that came before.  2013 is bound to be an exciting year for ASFMRA; we have a solid foundation, a tradition of moving forward and uncharted opportunity.

Students + Academics = Future Success

In addition to the success of the YPN, the ASFMRA reached out to our Academic Members at Summer Education Week (SEW).  To keep our membership growing, the relationship between the Academic and Student Members was embraced.  While our overall membership categories have remained relatively flat over the past ten years, our Student Membership has doubled. We are finding that most Members are staying active longer.  Penetration at the collegiate level is key to our future success.   

Academics are charged with teaching and molding our future.  Building a strong partnership not only at the university level but also at our chapter level  will be a continued goal in 2013.   The Oklahoma Chapter recently started an endowment through Oklahoma State with a $51,000 donation to fund scholarships over the next few years, the first of which was awarded in 2012.   In South Dakota, the Chapter has rekindled a Relationships Committee to partner with South Dakota State University in sponsoring booths, career fairs and scholarships.  A majority of the attendees at the student program in Des Moines were awarded travel money from their local chapters, while ASFMRA offered a nights lodging, participation in mock Interviews and one day of ASFMRA education of their choice.    

Creating a strong presence at the collegiate level, introducing students to the career options available to them in Appraising, Farm Management and Ag Consulting, coupled with the YPN Program, will be an important focus for 2013.   This effort will have a long reaching impact on the future path of the ASFMRA. 

Fast Track to Leadership – Young Professionals Network

In 2012, President Jeff Berg, ARA, recognized the need to seek intelligent, highly motivated young people to replace retirees. In an effort to address this challenge we introduced the Young Professionals Network (YPN) at the Summer Education Week in Des Moines in July 2012.  Because they are connected and accessible, this section of our membership has a new and different approach to their careers than that of their mentors. “Many of the resources I currently have in the industry will be retired within 10 years.” says Brian Field, ARA.   Born into technology and using it to their advantage; “Work hard, Play hard” isn’t an adage for this group, it is a life philosophy.   They are an all-inclusive, boundary crossing group, eager to trek along the career path and take the lead.  2013 will be a year of activity as this group led by Brian Hopf, Brian Field, ARA, Dru Palmer, Eric Wilkinson, AFM and Sara Wilson, reach out into uncharted land in order to forge a Society wide-group that will foster camaraderie, growth and learning as they take their place alongside the tenured professionals of the ag world and the ASFMRA.   

TECHNOLOGY. . .here and NOW

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) began in 2011 and ASFMRA continued to build on that foundation throughout 2012.  SEO, which increases the ranking by search engines, is a key component in making the Society, our events and education more accessible not only our to Members, but also potential members and attendees.

ASFMRA increased website presence with multiple dedicated sites, these include:  •   • •   •  

In addition to these four websites, the Society can also be found on Facebook (, LinkedIn (, and Twitter (   Each website supported by ASFMRA has its unique uses and information.  The general website is the main source for E-News, education, meeting and membership information. The website was specifically created to promote and share information related to the ASFMRA Annual Meeting and Trade Show.  Members are encouraged to bookmark this site to see the latest on speakers, presentations, and activities taking place at the annual meeting.  The website focuses on the Real Property Review Appraiser designation and education offerings.  The RPRA teaches appraisers how to conduct reviews on agricultural, commercial and residential property appraisals.  The program covers the review process, conducting reviews under USPAP and UASFLA (“Yellow Book”).  You learn the principles and procedures involved in reviews on all property types and you get practice applying them through case studies and hands on.

The website provides ASFMRA members with their own interactive network.  Members can use this site to post questions, share answers, search for members with similar backgrounds, see photos from events, and read daily news feeds from a variety of sources. Many ASFMRA members have utilized the discussion function to obtain information needed for their appraisal assignments.  Some examples of questions and answers being shared on the site include:

  • Sales information (comps) shared by appraisers
  • Documents uploaded for sharing with a committee such as the Editorial Committee and the manuscripts for the Journal of the ASFMRA
  • Industry breaking news for managers and appraisers

All-New Education Pages on Website

ASFMRA State Certification Coordinator Deanna Ilk dedicated herself to revamping the education pages on our main website.  These user friendly pages, complete with approval links, instructor bios and course information were rolled out mid-summer and was a huge improvement in our overall web presence.  A survey taken earlier in the year indicated that 97% of members go online for education and legislative information before any other source.   In addition to the revamped Education pages, Members now have the ability to enter and track CEUs on line at the ASMFRA website.  This provides Members with an accurate snapshot of their CEUs and greatly simplifies the process for submitting the CEU information to ASFMRA.

QR codes are becoming common place at our meetings and educational offerings.  Whether you want to download course materials, locate a map to a networking opportunity or review the agenda for the day, ASFMRA is pushing towards a future that embraces the best of technology and delivering it to your smartphone.  Additional Mobile Apps are currently being reviewed and we hope to use more of them in the future.  Overall, strong member communication is an on-going priority for ASFMRA.  ASFMRA continues to increase communications with weekly E-Newsletters and a monthly newsletter dedicated to chapter activities.    

Milestone Markers: Education/Accreditation

Research shows that members join for education and designations, 44% of ASFMRA members have a professional designation and in 2012, 25 members joined those ranks.   The average time invested in obtaining an ASFMRA professional designation is five years.  Not only are these professional designations the most recognized in the agriculture world, but they also come with with a substantial increase in earning potential. 

The professional designations awarded by the Society to those dedicated professionals who invest in their future and our Society are one of the many fence posts along the road to a successful career.   When asked about his ARA pursuit, Gary Bratton of South Carolina explained “This is the culmination of many years of hard work.  The ARA is one of the most recognized designations in the appraisal profession, and I am honored to be in such company.”    Arkansas’ Cary Matthews, another new ARA added “Hard work and dedication always pay off.”  

Review, Rebuild, Resurge

2012 ushered in a revamped RPRA program and requirements.  By readjusting the criteria and embracing the industry changes that Dodd-Frank brought to the scene, we are able to branch out to the banking industry as the forefront expert in appraisal review and education.  By establishing ASFMRA as the premier educational provider, we forged a new path along the road of success that will only increase our reputation as the leaders in professional agriculture and appraisal education.  Attendees of our specialized seminars added “Gaining additional insight on regulatory reviews and what is expected of a reviewer. . .good overview of items needed to review appraisals as I am new to the review process.” 

Whether in a traditional classroom setting or on a Webinar, our instructors are one of the greatest assets that the ASFMRA has  and we take that investment seriously.  In order to offer quality, exciting and enlightening education, our instructors must be the premier leader in their field.  They bring to the table years of real world experience and their mission is to pass that on to their peers, and more often than not, the future leaders of ASFMRA.  In order to consistently ensure that our instructors receive “Good instructor – he knows his material” feedback after courses, the ASFMRA requires that they attend the ASFMRA Instructor Workshops every three years.  In 2012 this was held the Saturday before SEW began in Des Moines on July 14th. Of the 23 attendees, six were brand new instructors and we are excited to have them begin their instructor journey with ASFMRA. 

Each year brings the challenge of developing new offerings that will not only have mass appeal but also engage the student. These offerings are almost always untested until launched at the Summer Education Week. As we set the fence posts for our two new classes (Winery and Succession Planning) we sat back and hoped the concrete was mixed correctly, hoped that the hole was deep enough to support the post. These new offerings were two of the best received in recent memory. Developed and taught by JoAnn Wall, ARA, (pictured at left) the Introduction to Vineyard and Wineries Appraisal left students wanting more, even suggesting that it be increased to a two or three day course. Brenda Vassaur Taylor developed and taught the Succession Planning course. The foundation of ASFMRA’s education are the instructors and developers. No other Agricultural organization has such a dedicated top notch pool of experts to draw from. We will continue to improve our current offerings and develop new ones based on member feedback and comments.

Longevity and 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.  In 2012, we had eight  40 year members, seven 50 year members and Ballwin, Missouri’s Charles L. Pilmer, AFM, ARA was honored for his 65th year of membership – he joined in 1947 and received his AFM in 1954 and his ARA in 1959!  These longtime members represent a total of 735 years of professional experience – and a majority of them are still active in their work. 

Membership – 65 Years – Charles L. Pilmer, AFM, ARA

Membership – 50 Years

  • Richard C. Carlson, AFM-Retired
  • Eldon H. Greenwood, AFM-Retired 
  • Joel R. Hertz, AFM, ARA, AAC
  • Ronald D. Kay, Ph.D. 
  • Tharrell D. Ming, ARA-Retired
  • Richard W. Vissering, AFM-Retired 
  • Norman G. Yergen, ARA-Retired                                                  

Membership – 40 Years

  • Walter D. Armer, Jr., ARA
  • James A. Garrett, ARA
  • Gary A. Greder, AFM
  • Douglas A. Hall, ARA-Retired
  • Jimmy R. Johnson
  • Kenneth E. Kirk, AFM
  • Robert N. Loitz, AFM-Retired
  • Donald H. Rasmus, AFM-Retired

Other awards presented at the 2012 Ceremony in Indianapolis ranged from Farm Manager and Appraiser of the Year, the Silver Plow to chapter secretaries who have served 10 or more years.  An Early Career Award given to the individual who has made outstanding contributions to their chapter and ASFMRA within the first ten years of membership.  We would like to thank the recipients of all of our awards.  These members (and non-members) are a living tribute to our “Most Trusted Rural Property Professionals” motto. Congratulations to all of our members, without steadfast support by individuals like these, ASFMRA would not be where we are today.

  • Appraisal Professional of the Year - Donald A. Fisher, ARA - Pomeroy Appraisal Assoc., Inc.—NY
  • Professional Farm Manager of the Year – Brent R. Bidner, AFM – Hertz Farm Management, Inc.—IL
  • D. Howard Doane – Ray L. Brownfield, AFM, ARA –  Land Pro, LLC—IL
  • Meritorious Service in Communications – Troy & Stacy Hadrick - Advocates for Agriculture—SD  
  • Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service in Agriculture - Dr. Michael Duffy - Iowa State University— IA
  • Early Career - Corey D. Prins, AFM - Northwestern Farm Management—MN
  • Gold Quill – Nicholas D. Paulson, Ph.D. University of Illinois—IL
  • Silver Plow - Milan Lemaich, ARA – Ontario Chapter Secretary
  • H.E. “Buck” Stalcup Excellence in Education  Manager – Richard R. Edmunds, ARA, AAC - Edmunds Enterprises—NY
  • H.E. “Buck” Stalcup Excellence in Education Appraiser - Paul E. Bierschwale, ARA – Bierschwale Land Company, LLC—TX

*̊Denotes award to Non-Member

The ASFMRA Staff has a combined 96 years of experience; that is an average of 9.6 years per person to serve you. 

Centrally located in Denver, CO, the ASFMRA staff is accessible, friendly and ready to serve YOU our members.  View the list of staff info and contact information.

ASFMRA Leadership Institute

The 2012 annual Leadership Institute took place September 10-14 in Washington DC. Ten Appraisers and 18 Farm Managers took advantage of this unique opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and gain practical communication tools. While in DC, participants got a birds-eye view of government in action. All the participants got time on the “Hill” to meet with members of the House and Senate or their staffers. This year’s DuPont Pioneer sponsored event made media/communication training available for the Appraisers as well as the Farm Managers.  There were speakers and sessions on everything from the economic outlook for agricultural to a roundtable for Chief Appraisers. The farm managers closed out the week at Chesapeake Farms where they enjoyed farm tours, great food and good times. Listen to Kirk Weih, AFM talk about Leadership Institute.


Annual Conference and Summer Ed Week Attendance

Record attendance numbers were reached at the 2012 Annual Conference and second highest at the 2012 Summer Education Week.  Sponsorship for these events continues to attract quality partners.

2013—Summer Education Week July 14-19, Omaha, NE – Staff Contact: Debe Alvarez,

Leadership Institute September 8-12, 2013, Washington, DC –  Staff Contact: Suzanne Gruba,

2013 Annual Conference November 11-15 Reno, NV - Staff Contact: Cheryl Cooley,

ASFMRA Executive Council 2011-12

The 2011-12 Executive Council

ASFMRA Executive Council (left to right); Kirk D. Weih, AFM, Immediate Past President; Paul J. Joerger, AFM, President-Elect; Thomas G. Schorr, ARA, District VII Vice President; Jeffrey L. Berg, ARA, President; S. James Rickert, AFM, ARA, First Vice President; Barbara Lechtenberg, ARA, District V Vice President;  Gary Schnitkey, Ph.D., Academic Vice President; Paul E. Moore, ARA, RPRA, District II Vice President; David W. GaNun, ARA, District I Vice President; John K. Mandeville, AFM, District III Vice President; Timothy E. Fevold, AFM, District IV Vice President; James R. Dunlap, ARA, District VI Vice President

ASFMRA National Staff

ASFMRA National Staff

Left to right: Mark Grace, Jeremy Lewis, Debe Alvarez, Deanna Ilk, Pam Burr, Hope Evans, Suzanne Gruba; back row: Cheryl Cooley, Meg Butcher & Brian Stockman.

Unaudited Financials – 2011-12





Seamless Change, Transparent Growth

To grow, one must change.  ASFMRA had a big change at the National Office in Denver in 2012; the retirement of Sally Donaldson ushered in a new face in our finance administration, Meg Butcher. Change is never easy, but often necessary. Meg has been a fantastic addition, injecting a new perspective, while maintaining the overall Mission of ASFMRA.  This transition to the new Director of Finance has been seamless. 

Staff and Council development utilizing the Personality Index (PI) ensure that we are using our talent in the right places.  We also analyzed our current hardware and software needs and are looking forward to installing new equipment in 2013 – these items will make the Society a more efficient, technological-savvy group able to respond to requests and provide information from our fingertips to yours. 


Congratulations on 2012 Newly Accredited

  • Matthew A. Clarahan, AFM
  • Steven Diedrich, AFM
  • Patrick R. Gooding, AFM
  • Adam Gore, AFM
  • Jeffrey Hignight, AFM
  • Daniel Leith, AFM
  • Benjamin W. Price, AFM
  • Jack Woodford Ray, Jr., AFM
  • William J. Thompson, AFM
  • Kenny Traynom, AFM
  • Morgan Troendle, AFM
  • Eric. M. Wilkinson, AFM
  • Luke Worrell, AFM
  • Matthew E. Wyss, AFM
  • James Abel, ARA
  • Gary Bratton, ARA
  • Judd T. Brooks, ARA
  • Chad Dugger, ARA
  • Jeremy Hill, ARA
  • Cary Matthews, ARA
  • Rebecca McWilliams, ARA
  • Wade A. Schroeder, ARA
  • Benjamin B. Ward, ARA
  • Teresa DeMuri, RPRA
  • Job D. Springer, AAC

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