ASFRMA: Workshop Focuses On Ag's Newest Commodities

The Hemp Farmers Association (HFA) aims to “educate, support and help protect” hemp growers. ( Giles Shell )

Summer is around the corner, and Tim Fevold, AFM, encourages you to attend ASFMRA’s Education Week (AEW) from July 17 to July 24, 2019, in Omaha, Neb., at the Embassy Suites La Vista Hotel and Conference Center.  

“Education Week is a great time for new members to develop friendships and take the required education classes,” says Fevold, ASFMRA’s 2018-2019 president. “For the seasoned professional, it’s an opportunity to network and learn about the latest trends in our industry.”

AEW is ASFMRA’s premier event aimed at providing education for licensure, accreditation and continuing education. The week is also loaded with networking opportunities. This year’s program is especially timely with the opportunity for valuation experts, farm managers, ag consultants and producers to learn about cannabis and hemp.  

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to vote to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Since then, eight more states and Washington, D.C., have followed, though Vermont and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana possession and production but continue to bar sales for recreational purposes. Cannabis farming is likely to get bigger, leading to a great deal of opportunity in the ag industry. This new-era crop is gaining the attention of farm managers, producers and valuation experts.  

“ASFMRA developed Introduction to Cannabis Operation and Valuation to ensure that our members, and really anyone involved in rural and farm valuation, is prepared for the future,” says JoAnn Wall, ARA, ASFMRA appraisal education committee chair. “This seminar is designed to provide an introduction to cannabis operations and valuation, enabling students to successfully identify and understand variations in growing methods and facilities associated with medicinal, recreational and industrial hemp.” 

Colorado was also the first state to legalize industrial hemp, and in 2018, industrial hemp and its derived products became legal on a federal level with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. This could be an alternative crop in many states such as Colorado, Kentucky, Montana and Minnesota. As a result, ASFMRA is hosting a day-long educational session on Alternative Management Strategies for Enhancing ROI, which includes a session on hemp. Kevin D. Gibson, professor of botany and plant pathology at Purdue University, will provide his insight on industrial hemp as a crop.  

Other speakers at the Enhancing ROI seminar will include Rick Brock, president and CEO of Brock and Associates, who will share his insights on marketing commodities. Bristi Cure, senior manager of renewable development at Invenergy, will provide information on how her organization sites renewable energy on farmland, and Craig Knickrehm with Walentine O’Toole LLP will address farm receivership.  

“We want to showcase alternative management strategies that farm managers and ag consultants could utilize to potentially increase the ROI of a farming operation,” says Howard Halderman, AFM, president of Halderman Farm Management.

Other seminars at AEW include a session on the Usage and Valuation of Drainage Tiles as well as a session on Practical Rural Appraisal. ASFMRA is also offering education for appraisal licensure in addition to classes that individuals need in order to become an accredited farm manager.

The ASFMRA Young Professionals Network (YPN) will meet for a session on Technology That You and Your Boss Should Know About, sponsored by Pioneer.

“Meeting at Education Week benefits younger professionals tremendously during the early years of their career,” says YPN chair Jeffrey Hignight, AFM. “The younger professionals get a chance to learn while building connections at AEW, and those networks are strengthened throughout their respective careers.”