By DOUG SCHMITZ
AMES, Iowa — A leading expert in rural appraisals was honored last month by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), with the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service in Agriculture Award for his service to U.S. agriculture.
“The award is particularly meaningful to me because it is named in honor of Carl Hertz. He was a true pioneer in land appraisal,” said Mike Duffy, an Iowa State University extension agriculturalist economist and professor of agricultural economics.
Established in 1929, ASFMRA is a professional organization providing education and networking opportunities for individuals who work in farm and ranch management, rural and real estate property appraising, review appraisal and agricultural consulting services.
The national award, presented to Duffy at the ASFMRA meeting Oct. 28-Nov. 2 in Indianapolis, is designed to honor individual service to agriculture, other than directly in the farm management and rural appraisal professions.
Duffy is the director of graduate education in sustainable agriculture. He is responsible for the annual Iowa Land Value Survey he’s been conducting since 1986, as well as other land tenure surveys, cost of crop production estimates, Iowa farm costs and returns publications.
As the state leader for the extension Farm Financial Planning Program, Duffy was named one of the top 25 Iowans of influence in 2009 by Iowa Farmer Today. He received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Penn State in 1981, an M.S. in ag economics from the University of Nebraska in 1977 and a B.S. in natural resources from University of Nebraska in 1975.
Duffy credits the Iowa chapter of ASFMRA with encouraging him to develop a class at ISU on land appraisal, as well as helping him to produce and deliver the annual soil management conference, now in its 89th year.
The founder of Hertz Farm Management, Hertz graduated from ISU with a degree in animal science in 1933. In 1937, he started the first formal professional farm management office in Iowa and in 1946, began his own business. In 1939, he became one of the first accredited farm managers in the United States.
Hertz died in 2005, but his Mount Vernon-headquartered company continues to provide services in professional farm management, real estate sales, auctions, acquisitions and farm appraisals.