ASFMRA: AgroNomics vision 2014 held in Reno

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click image to zoomJim Rickert, AFM, ARA“A growing trade show, best attendance since the year 2000, increased sponsorship participation and recognition of the industry’s top professionals led to the conclusion of a spectacular conference.” AgroNomics Vision 2014 and the ASFMRA 84th Annual Meeting just held their most successful meeting in years. A growing trade show, best attendance since the year 2000, increased sponsorship participation and recognition of the industry’s top professionals led to the conclusion of a spectacular conference.

ASFMRA was proud to recognize seven distinguished individuals for having achieved 50 years of membership in the organization. An additional 16 members were honored for their 40 years of membership.

An impressive group of 28 farm managers were awarded the Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) designation. The Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation was bestowed upon 12 ASFMRA members, and six members were recognized for receiving the Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designation. One member earned the Real Property Review Appraiser (RPRA) designation.

During the ASFMRA Awards Ceremony, special recognition was given to Adam Thien, AFM, for the Early Career Award and Mike Walsten of Land Owner Newsletter for the Meritorious Service in Communications Award. Corey Prins, AFM; the California Chapter, ASFMRA; and Brent Stanger, ARA, were presented the Henry “Buck” Stalcup Excellence in Education Awards.

Other prestigious awards presented during the meeting included the D. Howard Doane award to Gary Thien, AFM, ARA; the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service in Agriculture Award to William Edwards, Ph.D.; the Appraisal Professional of the Year to Steve Runyan, ARA; and the Professional Farm Manager of the Year Award to Kenneth Schmitt, AFM.

The president’s gavel passes from 2013 President Paul Joerger (left) to 2014 President James Rickert.The president’s gavel passes from 2013 President Paul Joerger (left) to 2014 President James Rickert. An impressive lineup of speakers included Robert Fraley, Ph.D., of Monsanto. Fraley gave a presentation on the projects and technologies that will support the doubling of yields by the year 2030. Other notable speakers included Daniel Sumner, Ph.D., from the University of California, Davis, who gave an in-depth presentation on the topic of the growing Pacific Rim demand and how it relates to agricultural professionals; Trey Hill of Harbor View Farms, sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, covered strategies for operating a large-scale farm operation on one of the most environmentally sensitive areas in the U.S.—the Chesapeake Bay.

Noted speaker, David Kohl, Ph.D., Virginia Tech professor emeritus, discussed modern day technology, how it will affect where we farm, how we farm and the techniques that will be used in the future.

Closing the conference was K.C. Conway of Colliers International. Conway provided attendees with an overview of the Panama Canal expansion and how it will have profound implications on ag land value and the global demand for U.S. ag products.

Other highlights of the conference included the installation of the ASFMRA Executive Council. James Rickert, AFM, ARA of Western Agricultural Services will serve as president of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in the coming year. Presentations are available at

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