For this entry, we're sharing a Member Spotlight from the ASFMRA's Iowa Chapter. Joel Ambrose joined the Society in 2014, and is currently pursuing his ARA while serving as a Chapter Director in Iowa.
Can you describe your experience and education related to the land professional ﬁeld?
My experience in rural appraisal started back at Oklahoma State University. My senior year I took a farm appraisal class and I really enjoyed it. My ﬁrst career move in the industry was with the Commissioners of the Land Ofﬁce with the State of Oklahoma. The Commissioners of the Land Ofﬁce is a state organization that manages the property that is owned by the state for the purposes of funding the public schools. My role was to manage properties in a couple of counties and also appraise those properties every three years. From there I made the move to Iowa and started working with Farmers National Company. There was a pretty big learning curve coming from Oklahoma because I was coming from cattle and wheat country and didn’t know much about corn and soybean production. I’m thankful for some of the folks I worked with that helped me learn the ins and outs of the crop production in Iowa. My qualifying appraisal education through the ASFMRA gave me a leg up too during that process. When I started appraising in Iowa, my focus was mainly on the typical farm properties in the state, but I have shifted to doing more specialized assignments. Along with the typical appraisal properties, I’m done extensive work with yellowbook appraisals, conservation easement appraisals, and undivided interest appraisals. These assignments can get pretty complicated and the education provided by the ASFMRA has prepared me for the challenges. Now I’m working towards my ARA and I’m looking forward to ﬁnishing that up by the end of next year.
What led you to become a member of the ASFMRA's Iowa Chapter?
Joining the Iowa ASFMRA Chapter was one of the ﬁrst things that I did when I made the move to Iowa and began working with Farmers National Company. I had been involved a little bit in the organization back in Oklahoma through my early appraisal classes so I was familiar with the basics of the organization. Farmers National Company is very active in the organization and always encourages FNC employees to be involved. I knew from the beginning that ASFMRA was going to be a positive move for my career. Once I joined I realized how active and inﬂuential the Iowa Chapter is and I’m looking forward to continuing to be an active member in the chapter.
Are there any personal background items that would be of interest to fellow members?
I grew up in a small town in rural southern Oklahoma. I was active in 4H and FFA and agriculture was always an important part of my life. I showed cattle and pigs and my family had a small cow/calf operation. I graduated from Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!) with a bachelors of science degree in Agricultural Economics. I’m also a professional auctioneer and am fortunate enough to be able to bid call some of our FNC real estate auctions in Iowa. I call between 30 and 40 real estate auctions a year which gives me great insight into the real estate markets in the area and in what drives the buyer’s decision making. I’ve been in Iowa since 2013 and have a 9-year-old daughter named Avery who is in fourth grade. I’m a very proud girl dad. I love Iowa, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Oklahoma. You’ll never meet a bigger Oklahoma State supporter and I’m not afraid to run my mouth a little bit when we’re playing the Cyclones. I’m also a singer and guitarist and hoped to make a living playing guitar directly after college. I was fortunate enough to play with some awesome people and see lots of cool places. I still play out with a couple different bands from time to time and it’s something I hope to continue doing as long as I can.
Would you mind sharing a memorable or unique experience in your life?
I’m a huge golf fan and I was fortunate enough to have a ticket to the 2019 Masters. My cousin won the ticket lottery and asked me to road trip with him to Augusta. We had Saturday round tickets so we were able to witness the Tiger roar ﬁrst hand as he made his run on the back nine. Deﬁnitely the coolest experience of my life and I’m hoping I can make it back there sometime.