Member Spotlight: Barbara Hegerfeld

By ASFMRA Press posted 29 days ago

We're happy to feature Barbara Hegerfeld from the South Dakota Chapter of the ASFMRA for this Member Spotlight. Ms. Hegerfeld works as an appraiser for Rabo Agrifinance in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

When did you begin your career in agriculture? Why?
Barbara Hegerfeld with her family.
Growing up in rural South Dakota, I’ve been surrounded by agriculture my entire life. Although a career in the ag field, let alone as an appraiser, was never something I really considered. I received two bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Management at NSU, and an MBA from USF. I had big plans! Although, I wasn’t really sure what they were!

While working at Daktronics as an International Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Brian Gatzke was talking to my husband, Jackson, about the need for appraisers. Both Brian and Jackson were ASFMRA members and kept in touch. After several months of discussions and considerations, we made the decision to leave Daktronics to pursue a career as an appraiser.

It was a life change and we joke about how I went from traveling to Paris, Zurich, London, and Frankfurt to now trips to Huron, De Smet, Olivet, and Howard. It was a change in scenery to say the least, but a good move for my family at that time.

Can you describe why you remain a member of the South Dakota Chapter of the ASFMRA, as well as your experience as YPN District Representative and Chapter Committee Chair (East River Breakfast, Career Days, SDSU Relationships)?
The networking and educational offerings we have in ASFMRA are things I really value within the Chapter. As a member of the South Dakota ASFMRA Chapter, I’ve felt it has been important to give back where I am able. Members are what keeps this chapter going and our involvement is what will determine its success.

Being the East River Breakfast chair was really my first level of involvement which enabled me to get to know many of you. At the same time, taking on the District YPN Representative was something I enjoyed, as it was an opportunity to connect with fellow members around the region and help the YPN group grow. Once my term as the District YPN Representative was up, I was asked to join the Funding and Legacy Committee, which I am currently part of.

Over the years, I’ve transitioned to areas that I have more interest in and/or areas I feel are a better fit as opportunities are presented. There have been many times I’ve said no to chapter roles that I didn’t think were a good fit for me at that particular moment. So, although it’s okay to be selective, I think it’s important to always keep the options open to where your contribution might be best utilized. Living in the Brookings community, I’ve felt it was important for me to be involved with the Students and SDSU, so I offered to be the Career Fair Chair when that role came up, which then led to becoming the SDSU Relationship Committee Chair.

Something I would encourage all members to do is find a way to get involved and do not be afraid to share ideas and suggestions. We need new ideas to continue to make this chapter better. Many of our committees don’t require a huge amount of time commitment, but if everyone contributes in some way, the chapter will be that much more successful.

What else can you tell us about yourself?

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Jackson. Many of you know Jackson as he is a fellow ASFMRA member. As he is a land broker/auctioneer with Advantage Land Company, we have running battle in our house as he thinks appraiser values are usually too low and I say the brokers are usually just too high.

We are busy! Our kids, ages 8, 6, 3, and 1 keep us on the go. Most of our time is spent running the kids to one sport or another. When we have down time, we go camping, hunting, or out to the family farm. We are on our 3rd day of school, and I’m not sure who was more excited, the kids or the parents.

(This interview occurred in August, 2020)