How to Become an Agricultural & Farm Machinery Appraiser

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Agricultural appraisers, also known as farm or rural appraisers, often receive experience and invaluable knowledge growing up or working on a farm. Agricultural appraisers research and evaluate data to determine the value of farm land, livestock and equipment. Agricultural appraisals are requested for primary and secondary mortgages, mortgage refinancing, divorce settlements, date-of-death real property valuations, bankruptcy, foreclosures, buyer decision making, and to raise funds for bail bonds. If you desire to pursue a career as an agricultural appraiser, planning and preparation are required.

Gain an intimate knowledge of the localized area where you plan to work. Study and research rural property valuations, the history of local family farms and local, state and federal laws that affect rural property valuation. Learn about the crops produced in your local area and harvest market prices for commodities, livestock and machinery.

Contact your State Board of Licensing to determine education and eligibility requirements, since licensing requirements vary from state to state. Most appraisers have a bachelor's degree in agricultural science, earth science, business management or rural estate management. A bachelor's degree is not a requirement, however, a degree helps provide a broad business knowledge of farm operations, farm management and property valuations. A degree strengthens your resume.

Join the The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Founded in 1929, ASFMRA is comprised of over 2,000 members who collectively appraise over 30 million acres of rural property every year. Entry-level memberships are available for students and apprentices as well as certified agricultural appraisers. The ASFMRA offers online educational training, seminars and support to help you meet the criteria required for accreditation.

Explore membership in the American Society of Agricultural Appraisers. The ASAA is made up of three different organizations: The International Society of Livestock Appraisers, The American Society of Farm Equipment Appraisers and The American Society of Equine Appraisers. Membership and certification from the ASAA provides professional endorsement.

Enroll in a private appraisal school or take classes offered by the The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers or the American Society of Agricultural Appraisers.

Seek an apprentice position with an independent agricultural appraiser or a land-management firm. Once you have gained experience and completed your certification educational requirements, you will soon be ready to do independent valuations as a certified and licensed agricultural appraiser.

Research and study to stay current on new business entering the local market, farm equipment and livestock auctions and prices achieved as well as local and national fluctuations in the economy that impact real property valuations.

Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with activity and plans in the community that affect the farming and cattle industry. Stay current on local, state and federal laws that affect farm property evaluations. Agricultural appraisers with a sound base of local knowledge receive preference in hiring and the highest fees.

Warnings

  • If planning to attend an independent agricultural appraisal school, make sure that the classes offered are approved by the The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.