Two CA Chapter Members Attend 2017 Leadership Institute in Washington DC

Julie Rose Gonsalves and Mark Peterson attended the ASFMRA Leadership Institute 2017 in Washington DC September 10 - 15, representing the California Chapter. The Leadership Institute provides the opportunity for attendees to gain hands-on leadership training that can be applied to both their personal and professional life. Delegates were able to meet influential government officials and key staffers; receive top-notch communication and advocacy training from the Wixted Group; meet with state congressional leadership to discuss the biggest issues facing ag policy today; network with ASFMRA staff, leadership and members from across the country; and see the sights of Washington D.C.

Welcome 2017-2018 Committee Chairs

The CA Chapter welcomes the following members into Committee Chair positions for for this year. If you are interested in becoming more involved and serving on a committee, please contact the chapter office at or (209) 368-3672!

Audit – Dorothy Bell, ARA; Reno, NV
Awards – Jaime Bigham, ARA; Fresno Madera Farm Credit, Fresno
Bylaws & Government Relations – John Maus, ARA; Farm Credit West, Woodland
Appraisal Education – Melissa Sandlin, ARA; American AgCredit, Merced
Management/Consulting Education – Dale Arthur, AFM; Capital Ag Property Services, Fresno
FARMit® Education – TBD
Internal Operations – Jim Pisani, ARA; Farm Credit West, Woodland
Land Values Survey (Co-chair) - Janie Gatzman, ARA; Gatzman Appraisal, Oakdale
Land Values Survey (Co-chair) - Tiffany Holmes, ARA; Edwards, Lien & Toso, Inc., Escalon
Marketing (Co-chair) – Kary Griffith; Yosemite Farm Credit, Modesto
Marketing (Co-chair) - Heather Ellingson; Farm Credit West, Yuba City
Outlook 2018 Agribusiness Conference – JoAnn Wall, ARA; Above & Beyond Real Estate Services, Inc., Templeton
2018 Fall Meeting – Dan Whisenhunt, AAC, MBS; AgCom, LLC, Turlock
Membership – Allison Clark, ARA; American AgCredit, Salinas
Nominating & Long Range Planning – Tony Toso, ARA; Edwards, Lien & Toso, Inc., Hilmar
Newly Accredited & Professional Advancement – Carl Evers, III, AFM; Farmland Management Services, Chowchilla
Retired Members – Mike Iliff, ARA-Retired; Sanger
Scholarships – Julie Rose Gonsalves; Correia-Xavier, Inc., Fresno
Sponsorships – Suzie Roget; CA Chapter, ASFMRA, Woodbridge
YPN (Young Professionals Network) – Scott Bozzo, AFM; UBS Farmland Investors, LLC

Join ASFMRA - The Most Trusted Rural Property Professionals

Are you an agribusiness consultant, farm manager, or rural appraiser looking for resources to expand your business and broaden your expertise? The California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers empowers agricultural property professionals with the education and resources to meet the complex challenges of modern agriculture, as well as offering invaluable professional connections. Be part of the most exceptional group of agricultural professionals in the nation and become a member of ASFMRA today!

Congratulations to Californias Newest AFMs!

The California Chapter is proud to announce that the following three members have recently been awarded their Accredited Farm Manager Designation:

Jeffrey Hillberg, AFM - AM Property Services, LLC
Stephen Kritscher, AFM - Kritscher & Associates
Kevin Palla, AFM - Palla and Company/Cushman and Wakefield

These members commitment to the education, experience and ethical requirements of becoming accredited is to be commended. They will be officially recognized during the Accreditation and Awards Ceremony as the ASFMRA Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia in November.

For more information on becoming an Accredited member of ASFMRA, please contact the California Chapter office at (209) 368-3672 or

Rich Smith Honored as 2017 Distinguished California Agriculturalist

The late Richard R. Smith was honored at the Outlook 2017 Agribusiness Conference in Fresno on March 30th as the Distinguished California Agriculturalist of the year. The award, annually recognizing an individual who has, through accomplishment, contributed in a significant and highly visible way to the betterment of California agriculture, is presented by the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA). Rich’s wife Claudia and daughter, Kacy accepted the award on his behalf during the conference luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Rich Smith was a pioneer in the wine grape industry in Monterey County and the Central Coast. He arrived in Monterey County in 1973 after graduating from U.C. Davis with a degree in Ag Science and Management. He and another individual were tasked with developing 855 acres of vineyard. In 1976, he took over as the general manager and formed Valley Farm Management, (VFI), which he incorporated in 1981. VFI provided vineyard management services on the 855 acre development and to other area landowners and growers. In 1987 he purchased the family Home Ranch near Soledad in the Santa Lucia Highlands and was amongst the first to plant modern wine grape vineyards there. The operation now farms over 3,200 acres of vineyard in Monterey County in addition to the state of the art winery facility on the Home Ranch and a tasting room in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Rich was a founding member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, a non-profit organization of growers and vineyard managers dedicated to the cultivation of high-quality grapes on the Central Coast. The Team was instrumental in developing the Sustainability in Practice, (SIP), program which certifies Central Coast vineyards which follow a comprehensive set of environmental, employee safety and conservation standards.

The family founded the Paraiso Winery in 1988 which is now part of the Smith Family Wines. Rich and Nicky Hahn were instrumental in the creation and approval of the Santa Lucia Highlands American Viticultural Area in 1991, now a renowned area for producing high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Rich was also active in the California Ag Leadership program and Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association. He was a gifted scientist and teacher, able to discuss and disseminate information in an effective manner. As one colleague said, “I never came away from a conversation not having learned something about growing grapes or making wine.” Rich Smith passed away unexpectedly in December of 2015 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.

Order California Water & Irrigation District Maps

Don't miss the opportunity to order your copies of the California Water & Irrigation District Maps published as a joint effort between the California Chapter, ASFMRA and the Ag Lenders Society of California. The North Map covers the major agricultural areas from Shasta to Oakdale while the South Map extends from Stockton to Tehachapi. The maps are four color, double sided and are sold for just $10 each plus sales tax and shipping. Order on line or using the physical Order Form.
Water District Map Order Form.0314.pdf

      Photos courtesy
      of Ken Dodderer
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