Member Spotlight: Mark A. Keller, ASA, SR/WA, CCIM

By ASFMRA Press posted 26 days ago

Name: Mark A. Keller, ASA, SR/WA, CCIM Mark_Keller.jpg


ASFMRA Member Since: 

Current Employer:
Salt River Project

When did you begin your career in agriculture? Why?

As the new real property appraiser at Salt River Project in 2001, the Phoenix Metropolitan area was rapidly expanding into the West Valley and also into northern Pinal County. Salt River Project was projecting substantial facilities needs in terms of infrastructure and right of way. At that time, huge tracts of agricultural and desert land were available and I needed a professional organization of appraisers to provide agricultural valuation and expertise, so I became a member in the ASFMRA.

What Ag issues are you most passionate about? Why?

The foremost issue affecting agriculture is the changing global environment. The shift from the United States being a major supplier of agricultural commodities to other rapidly developing agricultural countries will have a huge impact economically. The other looming issue is competing land uses and its affect on agriculture and the environment.

What have been the most impactful changes in your industry over the past 10 years? What changes would you like to see?

The most impactful positive change in Arizona agriculture has been in technology, especially on the water side of agricultural operations. Advances in drip and pivot irrigation have provided substantial positive benefits in terms of overall water consumption. On the negative side, I am concerned about a general downward trend in agriculture as a result of societal changes, which is resulting in a significant decrease in the number of people pursuing agricultural careers and longstanding farm ownership. A change that I would like to see is a resurgence in interest in family farms in the United States.

Describe an Ag-related professional experience that was especially fulfilling/rewarding.

My involvement in the Arizona Chapter has been challenging and professionally rewarding for me. After joining the Arizona Chapter, I became involved in helping with the annual Arizona Spring Ag Forum as a committee member. Being part of a great team, the Arizona Chapter has enjoyed hosting many ASFMRA national events, classes, and Spring AG Forums. Serving as a chapter officer and AG Committee Chair, I have developed many great professional relationships that are invaluable to me. ASFMRA is the foremost association in agricultural appraisal and farm management.

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