Ag News, April 24, 2012

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Agriculture’s Invisible Contract – TedXRedding

California member James Rickert (son of James & Mary Rickert) talks about having a real connection with the food you eat. The Rickerts produce organic beef in Shasta County, northern California. James was a speaker at a TedX meeting in California earlier this year.
View this inspiring YouTube video:

California agriculture moving toward sustainable future
From Western Farm Press

California agricultural leaders are making progress on a broad front to address major challenges to the industry’s sustainability, guided by goals established by the State Board of Food and Agriculture. And they are doing so by collaborating with environmentalists and representatives of other groups with an interest in the food system. These are the conclusions of a new progress report by American Farmland Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization that has been facilitating California Agricultural Vision. Read more.

Dairy Income to decline 25% this year
From Kiplinger Agriculture Letter

Following record average income in ’11… netting U.S. dairy operators about $240,000 each… U.S. dairy farmers’ profits will slip this year to roughly 25% below last year’s level. Well-run, large operators who raise their own feed will do best. But most farmers must buy a lot of feed and forage at expensive prices, and they face losses. Login to Member Resources to read more.

Only in Indianapolis…

Anything Indianapolis does is done in an effort to raise the game from a national perspective—and one of their goals for many years has been to create a city especially designed to make conventions like ours productive and fun. Meetings and Conventions summed it up like this: “If there were a competition among cities for the title Overachiever of the Decade, the winner would be Indianapolis.” Mark your calendar now for the 2012 ASFMRA Annual Meeting – AgroNomics, Vision 2013…October 29 – November 2. Keep an eye on your Inbox as AgNews will continue to deliver information on both the conference and this amazing city as the date gets closer. You can also visit for continuous updates on what this year’s meeting has to offer!

A cool tool for assessing crop land data

A tool cited by researchers in assessing crop acreage is still in its infancy, but shows the potential to offer analysts a big window on U.S. land use. The SOCC sited this tool in it’s petiton to USDA and EPA. Also, it’s a fun application that anybody with an internet connection can use.

To provide easier access to geospatial satellite products, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has launched CropScape, a program the agency calls “a new cropland exploring service.”

CropScape provides data users access to a variety of new resources and information, including the 2010 cropland data layer (CDL) just released in conjunction with the new service. CropScape offers advanced tools such as interactive visualization, web-based data dissemination and geospatial queries and automated data delivery to systems such as Google Earth.

“CropScape delivers data visualization tools directly into the hands of the agricultural community without the need for specialized expertise, GIS software or high-end computers,” said Mark Harris, NASS Research and Development Division director. “This information can be used for addressing issues related to agricultural sustainability, land cover monitoring, biodiversity and extreme events such as flooding, drought and hail storm assessment.”

NASS produced the 2010 CDL using satellite image observations at 30-meter (0.22 acres per pixel) resolution and collected from two data-collecting satellites and then categorized using on-the-ground farm information, including field location, crop type, elevation, tree canopy and urban infrastructure. CDL products dating back to 1997 are also hosted by CropScape

Have you checked out the ASFMRA LinkedIn Group?

Looking for networking opportunities?
Want to participate in discussions and postings from agriculture experts around the world? The ASFMRA Open LinkedIn Group has 217 members from as far away as Bucharest, Romania and China and as close as your town or city. There are managers, appraisers, consultants, rural property experts & realtors, university professors, international financiers, banking managers, marketers and many others.

Once you are connected to the group you can start and respond to discussions, participate in polls and find and connect with other members and people who are working in the agricultural worlds. If you like to connect to the ASFMRA LinkedIn Group, just login to your LinkedIn account and search for American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and send a request to join this group. You will be approved with 24 hours and you can start making connections on this great professional networking group. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, just go to You can also sign into existing accounts via this link. If you have any questions just send an email to or call at 303-758-3513, ext 10.

What do you like about E-News? Other ASFMRA Publications?
Publications Survey

Please take a few minutes to complete this quick 19 question survey rating the ASFMRA E-News, Membership Directory, Education Catalog and the Journal of the ASFMRA. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!  Just click on this link:

Virgil Holtgrewe, ARA, Retires

During the recent Colorado Chapter Meeting, a special ceremony was held to recognize one of the outstanding members of the chapter who announced his plans to retire.  Virgil Holtgrewe, ARA, has been an ASFMRA member since 1964. He earned his ARA designation in 1971 and began teaching for ASFMRA in 1975.
Virgil has been a very active member on both the national and chapter level. He has served as chapter president and has been on many national committees, including the following:

  • Program Committee – 1998, 2009
  • Accrediting Committee – 1974
  • Admissions Standards 1979 – 1982
  • Appraisal Manual Review – 1983-1984
  • Building Office Space – 1982
  • Ed Foundation Board – 1985
  • Exam Revisions – 1981-1982
  • International Affairs – 1996-2001
  • Professional Advance – 1976-1978
  • Professional Relations – 1979

He was on the 2009 Program Committee and arranged the Colorado Chapter Welcome Dinner held at the National Western Stock show complex. He was recognized in 2009 with the Debra K. West Volunteer Service Award and the Stalcup Excellence in Education award.
He has been a volunteer in the community, including many years at the National Western Stock show.

Please join us in congratulating Virgil on his remarkable career. While he has announced his retirement, he will still be around. He will be instructing Eminent Domain (A250) in April.

General Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use

May 7-10, 2012
Denver, CO

This course provides a forum for analysis and discussion of the impacts on the highest and best use of rural real estate for the appraiser. The course is designed for the appraiser who has considerable experience in appraising rural real estate or who has completed the first two levels of core courses offered by the ASFMRA.
For complete information:

Check out the Latest Discussions on AgProLink

Ranches with Large Assured Grazing Allotments
Wetlands Conservation Easements
Undivided Fractional Interest
Login in now to read more and comment on these member-submitted topics:

Montana Ag Lenders Range School – June 20-22, 2012

Can you identify this plant? Is it a positive or negative in a domestic grazing system? What are some other values of the plant?

If you want to learn about Montana’s number one natural resource, rangeland, the answers to the above questions and many more will be discussed at the 2012 Ag Lenders Range School, June 20-22, 2012.

Space is limited and filling up fast. 15 hours CE credit for appraisers is available. Download the flyer or registration form.

Need a New Job?

Check out the following listings on the ASFMRA website:

Job Title: Appraiser
Location: East Lansing, MI
Company: Farm Service Agency
Application Deadline: April 30, 2012

Job Title: Senior Agriculture Review Appraiser
Location: Open
Company: TIAA-CREF
Application Deadline: May 1, 2012

Get more information on these listings and more:

In Memory

Forrest L. Smith
Marion, KS
The ASFMRA was honored to welcome Forrest into the membership of the ASFMRA in 1956. He maintained his membership in the Professional membership classification until 1995. We have just learned of Forrest’s passing. Please see link below to view the obituary. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family

Update Your Calendars with the Latest Meetings and Education Schedule

Stay current with all the programs and activities taking place within ASFMRA and the industry. Bookmark the ASFMRA website and check the calendar regularly. View the complete schedule of ASFMRA courses.

7/16-20  ASFMRA Summer Education Week – Des Moines, IA
9/9-13  Leadership Institute – Washington, DC
10/28-11/2 ASFMRA 83rd Annual Convention & Trade Show (Agronomics) – Indianapolis, IN
4/23-26 A302 Sales Comparison Approach for General Appraisers – Denver, CO
4/30 Current Environmental Issues Seminar – Lancaster, PA
4/30 7-Hour National USPAP Update Course – Lufkin, TX
4/30 – 5/2 Valuation of Conservation Easements & Other Partial Interests – Denver, CO
4/30-5/2 Northeast Chapter Meeting, Tour and Education – Lancaster, PA

5/3 Appraising Agricultural Land in Transition – Jackpot, NV
5/4 Highest and Best Use Seminar – Jackpot, NV
5/4 Appraiser Qualifications Board Meeting – Chicago, IL
5/7-10 A290 General Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use – Denver, CO
5/10-11 Alabama Chapter Meeting – Auburn, AL
5/10 7-Hour National USPAP Update Course – Auburn, AL
5/11 Appraisals Through the Eyes of the Reviewer – Auburn, AL
5/17 Board of Trustees, Sponsoring Organizations, and NACAO Meeting – San Antonio, TX
5/21 Cost Approach Seminar – Austin, TX (FCB)
5/21-23 A380 Appraisal Review under UASFLA – Denver, CO
5/23-25 A390 Advanced Appraisal Review Case Studies – Denver, CO

6/4-8 A400 Advanced Rural Case Studies – Denver, CO
6/5 Implications of AQB Personal Property Guidelines Webinar – Internet
6/12-13 Administrative Review of Appraisals – Austin, TX (FCB)
6/21-22 Minnesota Chapter Summer Tour & Education – LuVerne, MN
6/25-28 A304 Integrated Approaches to Value – Denver, CO

7/16-18 Ag Land Management 1 – Des Moines, IA
7/16-18 Ag Land Management 2 – Des Moines, IA
7/16-18 Ag Land Management 3 – Des Moines, IA
7/16-19 A303 Income Approach for General Appraisers Part 1 – Des Moines, IA

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