Source: ASFMRA

The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) announced honorees Nov. 11-14 at the 2008 ASFMRA Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

Each year, ASFMRA recognizes outstanding leaders in the professions of farm management, consulting and rural appraisal. The H. E. Stalcup Excellence in Education Award is awarded to individuals who have contributed his or her knowledge and countless hours toward the advancement of the ASFMRA education program.

The 2008 H.E. "Buck" Stalcup Excellence in Education Awards went to Leonard Meador, AAC, of Rossville, Ind., for management education and Mark Finley, ARA, RPRA, of Willcox, Ariz., for appraisal education.

Leonard Meador, AAC, is responsible for the complete rewriting of the ASFMRA farm management and consulting education package. The material was rewritten and repackaged into modules that work in a variety of educational curriculums. Meador has served as a committee chair, course guru and instructor for ASFMRA.

He is both a business owner and an international industry consultant. His 25 years of experience developing and implementing practical, cost-effective business management solutions adds value to his many clients nationwide. In addition to his quality system development, he holds several ISO auditing certifications. Meador is an authority on business management systems and provides management/auditing services for businesses nationwide and around the world. He facilitates employee training, management seminars and quality management system development. He and his wife Karen have one son and two daughters and live near Lafayette, Ind. They are very active in their church and community.

Mark Finley, ARA, RPRA, is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a double major in General Agriculture and Animal Science, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1965 and a master's degree in 1967. He was employed by the USDA, Farm Service Agency and its predecessors since 1971 and provided appraisals and appraisal reviews of a wide variety of properties in New Mexico, Arkansas, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii and Arizona. He served as Chief Appraiser in Arizona and Hawaii for Farm Service Agency with responsibilities for the overall appraisal program prior to retiring in 2002.

Finley joined ASFMRA in 1987, received his Accredited Rural Appraiser designation in 1990 and his Real Property Review Appraiser designation in 1993. He has been co-chair of the National Accreditation Committee and served on the National Program and Appraisal Education Committees. Finley was a Certified Appraisal Instructor for the ASFMRA and was the course author for the A-35, A360 and A390 Appraisal Review Courses. He is one of the authors of the appraisal textbook, Appraisal of Rural Property, second edition, published by the Appraisal Institute and the ASFMRA.

Currently Mark is the CEO of Finley Appraisal Services Inc. and has been in the independent fee appraisal business since 1996. He also is a vice president of Ag Network USA, a corporation that specializes in appraisals of very complex properties and specialized property interests. His appraisal experience includes homes, farms, ranches, pecan groves, pistachio groves, vacant land, dairy facilities, poultry houses, forestry enterprises, state and federal grazing allotments, apartments, and rural commercial properties. He has qualified as an expert witness in Federal Bankruptcy courts in Portland; Phoenix; and Tucson, Ariz.

ASFMRA also announced honorees at its annual meeting.

Professional Farm Manager of the Year Award
Steve Myers, AFM, of Busey Ag Services in LeRoy, Ill., was recognized by ASFMRA, Syngenta and AgProfessional Magazine as the 2008 Professional Farm Manager of the Year. Myers' impact spans far and wide across nearly 16,000 acres in central Illinois that he manages for 66 clients. Myers is involved in numerous ag-related boards and associations and through his monthly column in the profit-planning section of Prairie Farmer magazine. In addition to professional farm management, Myers is also a licensed real estate agent and certified crop advisor. He also oversees Busey's on-farm research program, which keeps him on the cutting edge of agriculture.

Appraisal Professional of the Year
The 2008 Appraisal Professional of the Year was Jeffery L. Berg, ARA. Each year this award honors an ASFMRA Accredited Member for their outstanding experience and commitment to excellence within the agricultural appraisal profession, including their industry contributions. Jeffrey L. Berg, ARA, is a Minnesota native, growing up on a family farming operation in the west central Minnesota town of Barnesville. He earned the Accredited Rural Appraiser designation from ASFMRA in 1991. Berg is also an accredited senior appraiser and serves as an instructor for many of ASFMRA's courses and is a National USPAP instructor. Berg was chairman of the ASFMRA Appraisal Education Committee and remains on the Appraisal Education and Accreditation Committee. Berg is a regional expert in the appraisal of grain elevators, seed processing plants and fertilizer facility appraisals.

D. Howard Doane Award
The 2008 D. Howard Doane Award was presented to Darrell W. Atkinson, AFM, AAC. The D. Howard Doane Award is held in great esteem in ASFMRA. It is given annually to a member or non-member who has demonstrated such qualities and outstanding contributions in the field of agriculture with emphasis on farm management and rural appraisal. Atkinson is a native of Shafter, Calif., and received his education at California State University Bakersfield, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. After graduation he joined Farm Credit in Bakersfield as a lender and was subsequently employed by Stewart Title Company as president of the Bakersfield Division. He joined the WestMark Group in 1988 and is currently a partner in the Bakersfield based firm. In 1993, he earned the Accredited Farm Manager designation and in 1997 earned the Accredited Agricultural Consultant designation. Atkinson is the past president of the California Chapter ASFMRA where he was awarded the Chapter Service Award in 2002. Also in 2002 he served as the 65th president of ASFMRA. In addition to his time as an officer, Atkinson has served ASFMRA as a member of the Management Education, Consulting Education, and Long Range Planning Committees as well as serving on the Structure and Alliance Team Groups. He has previously served on the Kern County Farm Bureau Board, as past chairman of the Agri-Business Committee of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, past president of Bakersfield North Rotary, past Member BASF Farm Manager's Advisory Board along with various other positions over the past 28 years.

Data Transmission Network (DTN) was announced as the 2008 Meritorious Service in Communication Award winner. DTN located in Omaha, Neb., is widely recognized as one of the leading providers of agriculture business information in the United States. DTN delivers daily a stream of timely information to meet the specific needs of agricultural producers, agri-business companies and others. Specifically, DTN provides real-time information to more than a dozen different markets and segments, including production agriculture, refined fuels, commodities and futures trading, public safety, aviation, turn, recreation, construction and transportation. The Meritorious Service in Communication Award recognizes a company involved in the area of communications that has promoted understanding and good will between producers and consumers of agricultural products.

Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service in Agriculture Award
Michael Boehlje, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University was presented the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service in Agriculture Award. This annual award is presented to a non-member for distinguished service to agriculture, not directly in the farm management or rural appraisal professions.

Early Career Award
The ASFMRA Early Career Award recognizes an outstanding early career member, someone who is making outstanding contributions to their local chapter, the ASFMRA and to their local communities during their first 10 years of ASFMRA membership. The recipient of the 2008 ASFMRA Early Career Award is Matthew A. Rekeweg, AFM. Rekeweg is vice president, National Sales for the Halderman Companies (Halderman Farm Management Service Inc. and Halderman Real Estate Services Inc.), based in Wabash, Ind. Rekeweg has worked for Halderman's since 1998. During this time he was instrumental in the conception, design and implementation of Halderman's Web-based accounting and customer relationship management systems and of their owner field day/customer appreciation programs.

He has served the state chapter of Indiana in many roles including chapter president. He has served his church as an elder and his community through service on the Indiana FFA Foundation's board of directors and the Harvard University Private and Public, Scientific, Academic and Consumer Food Policy Committee.

Gold Quill Award
Phillip Eberle, from the Agribusiness Economics Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Russ Wallace, an economist with the Army Corps of Engineers Environmental and Planning Branch, were honored as the 2008 Gold Quill Award recipients. Eberle and Wallace received this award for an ASFMRA Journal article titled, "Recreational Leases As Means to Increase Landowner Income."

Long Standing Membership Recognition
ASFMRA also congratulated members for their long-standing membership. Celebrating 40 years of ASFMRA membership are: Robert Wolf (La.); D.K. Doug Stallard AFM, ARA (Ill.); Robert A Luening (Wis.); and Henry A. Long, Jr., AFM, ARA (Ala.). ASFMRA also recognized three members for 50 years of membership: Joseph D. Henderson (Ill.); William B. Richardson (N.D.); and Edgar T. Shaudys, Ph.D (Ohio). The ultimate recognition for long standing membership went to Sherman O. Kessler of New Ross, Ind., for 65 years of ASFMRA membership.

The 2008-2009 ASFMRA president, Jerry Warner, AFM said, "I am excited and proud to be a part of such a great organization. The 2008 Annual Meeting was one of the American Society's best meetings yet. It was a great honor to recognize so many who have given so much to the Society and the professions we serve."

President-Elect Richard R. Edmunds ARA, AAC added, "Planning is already underway for the 2009 Annual Meeting to be held in Denver. We are looking for another great line up of speakers, education and networking opportunities. Mark your calendars now for Oct. 25-31 for another great meeting."